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Article RSE 14008882

Inspection of high-concentration CO2 events at the Plateau Rosa Alpine station

Article

Atmospheric Pollution Research, vol. 6, pp. 415‐427, Novembre-2014.

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R. Richiardone (Università di Torino), L. Fialdini (RSE SpA), C. Francone (Università di Torino), C. Vannini (RSE SpA), F. Apadula (RSE SpA) , C. Cassardo (Università di Torino), S. Ferrarese (Università di Torino), A. Ferrero (Università di Torino), A. Lanza (RSE SpA), D. Heltai (RSE SpA) , M. Manfrin (Università di Torino), F. Bertiglia (Università di Torino), A. Longhetto (Università di Torino)

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The Plateau Rosa Alpine station (Italy) has collected atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide since 1989. If the complete set of hourly data is observed, two distinct and exceptional very high concentration events are evident for February 2004. Similar and almost contemporary peaks were registered at the European high–altitude stations of Zugspitze–Schneefernerhaus and Sonnblick in the Alps, and at Mt. Cimone in the Northern Apennines.

A regional meteorological model (the Weather Research and Forecast) was applied over a medium–high resolution grid to study the evolution of the meteorological fields and to identify the trajectories of the polluted air masses during the CO2 observed peaks. The results show that, during both episodes, atmospheric circulation conveyed highly polluted air from the European plains to the Alpine stations. This conclusion has been also confirmed through concentration measurements of the atmospheric trace gases (in particolar CO, O3) in the same area.

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