Volume 58(1) - January 2009

Feature articles

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child in field  

Weather, climate and the air we breathe
Message from the Secretary-General

This theme is particularly appropriate at a time when communities around the globe are struggling to attain the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, especially in terms of health, food, water security and poverty alleviation, as well as to increase their effectiveness in preventing and mitigating natural disasters, of which 90 per cent are directly related to weather, climate and water hazards ...

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cloud
 

Implications of climate change for air quality
By Guy P. Brasseur

Changes in the chemical composition of the atmosphere, which have resulted from massive industrialization, intensive agriculture and urbanization, as well as road, maritime and air traffic, have led directly and indirectly to enhanced radiative forcing with, as a result, future changes in the Earth’s temperatures and hydrological cycles.

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pollution
 

The global atmosphere: greenhouse gases and urban pollution
By Euan Nisbet and Martin Manning

For 50 years, since Dave Keeling started monitoring carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, and the South Pole, scientists have been tracking greenhouse and other trace gases in the global atmosphere. The results have revolutionized our understanding of biogeochemistry and demonstrated that human activities affect climate change and air quality.

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duststorm
 

Possible influences of air pollution, dust- and sandstorms on the Indian monsoon
By William K.M. Lau, Kyu-Myong Kim, Christina N. Hsu and Brent N. Holben

In Asian monsoon countries, such as China and India, human health and safety problems caused by air pollution are becoming increasingly serious, due to the increased loading of atmospheric pollutants from waste gas emissions and from rising energy demand associated with the rapid pace of industrialization and modernization.

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photo  

WMO research and development activities in air quality, weather and climate to benefit Africa
by André Kamga Foamouhoue, Jose María Baldasano, Emilio Cuevas Agulló, Aïda Diongue-Niang, Carlos Pérez García-Pando, Eugene Poolman and Madeleine Thompson

Dramatic and sustained improvements have occurred in our prediction capabilities for air quality, climate and weather. Nevertheless, the demands for more accurate predictions have increased due to the exponential growth of population, climate change and the increasing susceptibility of society to natural disasters and poor air quality by concentrating populations in urban centres, coastal regions and river valleys.

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stadium
 

Air-quality management and weather prediction during the 2008 Beijing Olympics
by Jianjie Wang, Xiaoye Zhang, Tom Keenan and Yihong Duan

The 29th Olympiad took place from 8 to 24 August 2008 in Beijing: more than 10 000 athletes from 204 countries, territories or regions participated. It was historically exceptional in terms of its size, variety of sport events and related activities, operations of municipal infrastructure and daily activities of the general public. Over 1.7 million volunteers provided a full range of services.

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mexico city
 

Air quality, weather and climate in Mexico City
by Luisa T. Molina, Benjamin de Foy, Oscar Vázquez Martínez and Víctor Hugo Páramo Figueroa

The Mexico City Metropolitan Area is one of the world’s largest megacities with an estimated 20 million inhabitants living on the dried bed of the elevated lake Texcoco and its surroundings. The inland basin is at an altitude of 2 240 msl and is surrounded on three sides by mountains and volcanoes, with an opening to the Mexican Plateau to the north and a mountain gap to the south-east.

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pollution
 

The carbonaceous aerosol—a remaining challenge
by Karl Espen Yttri, Cathrine Lund Myhre and Kjetiltørseth

The ambient aerosol level remains a major challenge in atmospheric science due to its ability to cause negative health effects and its ability to influence the radiative balance and, thus, the Earth’s surface temperature. Our knowledge of the mechanisms by which the effects can be explained, however, is still a matter of ongoing research.

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fish in ocean
 

The impacts of atmospheric deposition to the ocean on marine ecosystems and climate
by Robert A. Duce, James N. Galloway and Peter S. Liss

The transfer of chemicals from the atmosphere to the ocean has long had an impact on the ocean (e.g. nutrient source; pH influence). With the advent of the Anthropocene, the transfer of some chemicals has increased over natural levels and the transfer of new chemicals has commenced. This brief review examines the impact of the increased transfer of certain nutrients (nitrogen, iron and phosphorus), toxins (lead and mercury) and pH regulators (carbon dioxide) on ocean ecosystems and climate.

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