DOI: 10.3390/atmos14081214 ISSN: 2073-4433

Towards a UK Airborne Bioaerosol Climatology: Real-Time Monitoring Strategies for High Time Resolution Bioaerosol Classification and Quantification

Ian Crawford, Keith Bower, David Topping, Simone Di Piazza, Dario Massabò, Virginia Vernocchi, Martin Gallagher
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)

Biological particulate matter (BioPM) is a poorly constrained, ubiquitous, and diverse subset of atmospheric aerosols. They influence climate, air quality, and health via many mechanisms, spurring renewed interest in constraining their emissions to elucidate their impacts. In order to build the framework required to assess the role of BioPM in these multidisciplinary areas, it is necessary to develop robust, high time-resolution detection methodologies so that BioPM emissions can be understood and characterized. In this study, we present ambient results from intensive monitoring at UK peri-urban and coastal ground sites using high time-resolution real-time bioaerosol spectrometers. We demonstrate the utility of a new dimensional reduction-driven BioPM classification scheme, where laboratory sample training data collected at the ChAMBRe facility were used to generate broad taxonomic class time series data of key species of interest. We show the general trends of these representative classes, spanning spring, early summer, and autumn periods between 2019 and 2021. Diurnal behaviors and meteorological relationships were investigated and contextualized; a key result arising from this study was the demonstration of rainfall-induced enhancement of nighttime Penicillium-like aerosol, where rainfall crucially only acts to enhance the quantity emitted without significantly influencing the early morning timing of peak spore liberation.

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