Special Issues

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Quantifying the emission, properties, and diverse impacts of wildfire smoke

Last updated:
8 February 2018
Credit: NASA

Wildfires are a global force of change that has a significant impact on terrestrial and atmospheric environments.  Under the control of weather, climate and human dynamics, fires are increasing in terms of burned area and the severity of fires, which adversely impacts air quality and feeds back to the climate system by altering patterns of precipitation, atmospheric and landscape albedo, and deposition on snow and ice. This special issue solicits manuscripts that address all aspects pertinent to quantifying the diverse impacts of smoke aerosols and gases originating from wildfires.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

• Quantifying emissions from a wide variety of wildland fires (global, ecosystem-specific, crown, smoldering, agricultural, etc.)

• Linking land-use and land cover change to wildfire occurrence and its severity to include fire radiative power and energy

• The chemical, physical, and optical properties of emitted smoke particles as they age and evolve during smoke transport in the atmosphere

• In-situ measurements from ground-based and aircraft platforms

• Passive and active satellite sensors observations of smoke properties, vertical distribution, and horizontal transport

• Atmospheric transport modeling of smoke impacts using regional and global models

• Assessments of smoke impacts on the radiative regime of the atmosphere, including the impact on the surface radiative budget, radiative forcing at the top of the atmosphere and at the surface and the profile of radiative heating/cooling rates

• Impact of smoke particle deposition on snow/ice covered surfaces

• Impacts on photochemistry via modifying the photolysis rates and providing surfaces for heterogeneous reactions

• Impacts on air quality and adverse health implications

Atmospheric Gravity Wave Science in the Polar Regions and First Results from ANGWIN

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Last updated:
8 February 2018

This special issue will contain papers that deal with the theory, modelling and observations of gravity wave activity in the Polar Regions at any altitude in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The importance of gravity waves in the Polar Regions and their effect on global circulation is well known.  However, models can struggle to represent their effects correctly, especially related to the Polar Vortex duration. There is also a lack of comprehensive observations in this region, especially over Antarctica. Gravity waves, and their different sources, over the Polar Regions need to be studied continent wide and through all levels of the atmosphere in order to fully understand their impact on both the global and local circulation and correctly represent their effects in models.

The ANtarctic Gravity Wave Instrument Network (ANGWIN) is a highly successful "grass roots" program initiated in 2011 that utilizes a network of instrumentation at several international research stations around Antarctica. The 3rd ANGWIN science workshop (April 2016) showed that excellent results are being produced as a result of this collaborative approach.  These results will also be presented in this special issue.

Winter INvestigation of Transport, Emissions and Reactivity (WINTER)

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Last updated:
8 February 2018
The Winter Investigation of Transport, Emissions and Reactivity field campaign took place in February-March, 2015 on the United States East Cost.  The goal was to understand the lifetime and fate of common atmospheric pollutants during the winter season.  Winter oxidation rates are much slower, leading to potentially larger and more widespread primary pollutant concentrations, with conversion to secondary pollutants taking place over longer time and spatial scales.  Heterogeneous and multiphase processes, which are much less certain, play a larger role in winter chemical transformations.  The field campaign was based primarily on flights of the NSF C-130 aircraft, which was based out of Langley, Virginia.  Flights sampled the east coast region from New York City to Florida, the continental interior as far west as Ohio, and air mass transport over the Atlantic Ocean.  The C-130 also coordinated flights with two light aircraft based in the Washington D.C. area that were measuring the urban greenhouse gas budget.  Papers from both sets of aircraft will be included in the special issue.
The special collection will describe aircraft gas and aerosol phase chemical measurements in pollution plumes and background air during the winter season and will provide a highly unique data set and analysis. 

Atmosphere-ice-ocean-ecosystem processes in a thinner Arctic sea ice regime: the Norwegian young sea ICE cruise 2015 (N-ICE2015)

Results are presented from a 6-month interdisciplinary field experiment (Norwegian young sea ICE cruise; N-ICE2015) conducted in Arctic first-year sea ice north of Svalbard to understand atmosphere-ice-ocean interaction and the response of the physics, biogeochemistry and the marine ecosystem to the new thinner ice regime in the Arctic basin.

Dense water formations in the North Western Mediterranean: from the physical forcings to the biogeochemical consequences

Last updated:
8 February 2018
This is a joint special issue with JGR-Oceans and JGR-Atmospheres.

The North Western Mediterranean is a specific region playing a key role for the hydrology and biogeochemistry of the whole basin due to (1) the deep convection that redistribute organic and inorganic matters all over the water column, and (2) the subsequent intense spring bloom that represents the most important biological process of the basin at the origin of carbon exports. The MerMeX, HyMeX and MOOSE components of the MISTRALS program focus on the impact of winter convection on the water cycle, redistribution and stoichiometry of matter, development and succession of biological community over an annual cycle, and their potential evolutions. This special section compiles the major results of an unprecedented intensive and innovative effort of observation and modelling over a full annual cycle from June 2012 to September 2013. Ship-based operations, autonomous platforms (gliders, Bio-Argo floats, mooring lines), remote-sensing and coupled modelling were combined to better characterize and understand the NWM dense water formation phenomena, including the associated physical processes, and the biogeochemical response of the pelagic ecosystem.

Midlatitude Marine Heatwaves: Forcing and Impacts

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Last updated:
8 February 2018
*This is a Joint Special Collection* 
The following journals are accepting submissions: Geophysical Research Letters, JGR Oceans, JGR Biogeosciences, and JGR Atmospheres.


Persistent, midlatitude marine heatwaves (MHWs), such as the 2013-2014 extreme warming of the Northeastern Pacific (aka “the Blob”), can have dramatic and widespread impacts on ecosystems, fisheries and weather. MHWs have been observed in both hemispheres (e.g., the Ningaloo Niño in Western Australia), including in semi-enclosed basins such as the Mediterranean Sea. MHWs can be caused by a combination of atmospheric and oceanographic processes. It is also expected that they will become more frequent and intense under anthropogenic climate change. This Special Collection welcomes papers investigating the causes, evolution, and impacts of persistent midlatitude MHWs.

The Arctic: An AGU Joint Special Collection

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Last updated:
8 February 2018
The Arctic has become the focus of many new investigations and studies across a number of disciplines. In many cases, this research is integrating diverse new data sets, observations, and modeling, and making connections among and across the biosphere, oceans, atmospheres, space, and geophysical environments. These papers include historical and new research on the Arctic and represent the following AGU journals: Earth’s Future, Earth and Space Science, Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems (G-Cubed), Geophysical Research Letters, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, JAMES (Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems), JGR: Oceans, JGR: Atmospheres, JGR: Solid Earth, JGR: Space Physics, JGR: Biogeosciences, JGR: Earth’s Surface, Reviews of Geophysics, Space Weather, and Water Resources Research.

Water-soil-air-plant-human nexus: Modeling and observing complex land-surface systems at river basin scale

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Last updated:
8 February 2018
Bidirectional coupling of complex human-nature system requires a deeper understanding of interactions between hyrologic systems and atmospheric, climatic, ecological, biophysical, biochemical and socioeconomic systems. This system of systems can be referred to as water-soil-air-plant-human nexus. In many river basins around the world, integrated studies of water-soil-air-plant-human nexus have been carried out. This special issue calls for contributions of observational analysis and modelling studies to advance the understanding of the water-soil-air-plant-human nexus in river basins around the world.