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Sampling and modeling Primary Biological Aerosol Particles (PBAPS) at South-Southern Brazil: associated to improvements of climate models

Grant number: 16/06160-8
Support type:Research Program on Global Climate Change - Thematic Grants
Duration: May 01, 2018 - April 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Geosciences
Principal Investigator:Fábio Luiz Teixeira Gonçalves
Grantee:Fábio Luiz Teixeira Gonçalves
Home Institution: Instituto de Astronomia, Geofísica e Ciências Atmosféricas (IAG). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Co-Principal Investigators:Maria Assunção Faus da Silva Dias
Assoc. researchers:Cindy Ellen Morris ; Douglas Galante ; Fabio Rodrigues ; Jorge Alberto Martins ; Solana Meneghel Boschilia ; Vaughan Trevor James Phillips


Airborne particles, also called particulate matter, can impact directly and indirectly on earth's climate as well as on human and animal health. Aerosol particles range from a few microns down to very small sizes, such as a few tens of Angstroms. These particles can directly absorb or reflect solar radiation within the atmosphere affecting directly the earth's energy balance, a major focus of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Another important effect is related to their ability to act as Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CNN) and formation of Ice Nuclei (IN), which trigger cloud drops and ice formation respectively, also indirectly influencing the earth's energy balance, equally important to the IPCC approach. On the other hand, the Primary Biological Aerosol Particles (PBAPs) are airborne solid and insoluble particles derived from living organisms (e.g. bacteria, fungi and pollen). These biological particles have properties that enable them to act as ice nuclei (IN), becoming PBAP-IN, as well as Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) and participate in the radiative forcing. In this research work, we will also explore the status of the current and incomplete global climatology of hail, hail formation, its relation to PBAP-IN to explain the observed behavior for Southern region of Brazil. Remote sensing techniques and downscaling scenarios will be considered in the analysis proposed in this project and methods able to assess the impact of future climate scenarios. Therefore, as a final product, the proposed research is expected to evaluate the knowledge about PBAP-IN and hail phenomena and improve the modern techniques of detection of hailstorms by satellites, including the assessment of any signal of climate change impact. Finally, the project will provide the community with observations of the local and specific conditions of hailstorms occurrence, related to PBAP-IN and, based on these conditions, establish the synoptic or large-scale circulation patterns under which the phenomena occur in the South and Southeast of Brazil and what behavior could be expected to the future.Only recently, chemical, physical and microbiological researches took place individually, in parallel paths, and a closer multidisciplinary approach linking cloud and hail formation and PBAP-IN, which started in the last decade. These interactions lead to a potential increase in the multidisciplinary understanding of physical chemistry of biological particles from the atmosphere. These are issues (such as "How much PBAP-IN contributes to the radiative forcing at Southern Brazil region?") that should be answered partially for this Project and link to other studies where the importance of microorganisms in cloud microphysics and its consequences. Moreover, since global models (GCMs) have a simple representation of cloud formation, any acquisition of the knowledge about clouds and hailstorms are very relevant, such as hail formation rates as a function of cloud-depth, CAPE and aerosol conditions (e.g. PBAP) in global models. The ability to preview climate change is based on GCMs where this improvement can be added. Finally, the PBAP-IN can be introduced to numerical modeling in order to evaluate its impact on cloud formation and rainfall. (AU)