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  1. Abstract. As wildfires intensify and fire seasons lengthen across the western US, the development of models that can predict smoke plume concentrations and track wildfire-induced air pollution exposures has become critical. Wildfire smoke plume height is a key indicator of the vertical placement of plume mass emitted from wildfire-related aerosol sources in climate and air quality models. With advancements in Earth observation (EO) satellites, spaceborne products for aerosol layer height or plume injection height have recently emerged with increased global-scale spatiotemporal resolution. However, to evaluate column radiative effects and refine satellite algorithms, vertical profiles of regionally representative aerosol properties from wildfires need to be measured directly. In this study, we conducted the first comprehensive evaluation of four passive satellite remote-sensing techniques specifically designed for retrieving plume height. We compared these satellite products with the airborne Wyoming Cloud Lidar (WCL) measurements during the 2018 Biomass Burning Flux Measurements of Trace Gases and Aerosols (BB-FLUX) field campaign in the western US. Two definitions, namely, “plume top” and “extinction-weighted mean plume height”, were used to derive the representative heights of wildfire smoke plumes, based on the WCL-derived vertical aerosol extinction coefficient profiles. Using these two definitions, we performed a comparative analysis of multisource satellite-derived plume height products for wildfire smoke. We provide a discussion related to which satellite product is most appropriate for determining plume height characteristics near a fire event or estimating downwind plume rise equivalent height, under multiple aerosol loadings. Our findings highlight the importance of understanding the sensitivity of different passive remote-sensing techniques on space-based wildfire smoke plume height observations, in order to resolve ambiguity surrounding the concept of “effective smoke plume height”. As additional aerosol-observing satellites are planned in the coming years, our results will inform future remote-sensing missions and EO satellite algorithm development. This bridges the gap between satellite observations and plume rise modeling to further investigate the vertical distribution of wildfire smoke aerosols. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 25, 2025
  2. Abstract

    The water vapor transport associated with latent heat flux (LE) in the planetary boundary layer (PBL) is critical for the atmospheric hydrological cycle, radiation balance, and cloud formation. The spatiotemporal variability of LE and water vapor mixing ratio (rv) are poorly understood due to the scale‐dependent and nonlinear atmospheric transport responses to land surface heterogeneity. Here, airborne in situ measurements with the wavelet technique are utilized to investigate scale‐dependent relationships among LE, vertical velocity (w) variance (), andrvvariance () over a heterogeneous surface during the Chequamegon Heterogeneous Ecosystem Energy‐balance Study Enabled by a High‐density Extensive Array of Detectors 2019 (CHEESEHEAD19) field campaign. Our findings reveal distinct scale distributions of LE, , and at 100 m height, with a majority scale range of 120 m–4 km in LE, 32 m–2 km in , and 200 m–8 km in . The scales are classified into three scale ranges, the turbulent scale (8–200 m), large‐eddy scale (200 m–2 km), and mesoscale (2–8 km) to evaluate scale‐resolved LE contributed by and . The large‐eddy scale in PBL contributes over 70% of the monthly mean total LE with equal parts (50%) of contributions from and . The monthly temporal variations mainly come from the first two major contributing classified scales in LE, , and . These results confirm the dominant role of the large‐eddy scale in the PBL in the vertical moisture transport from the surface to the PBL, while the mesoscale is shown to contribute an additional ∼20%. This analysis complements published scale‐dependent LE variations, which lack detailed scale‐dependent vertical velocity and moisture information.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 16, 2025
  3. S. Kim, B. Feng (Ed.)
    The thermal comfort of individuals is considered an important factor that affects the health, well-being, and productivity of the occupants. However, only a small proportion of people are satisfied with the thermal environment of their current workplace. Therefore, this paper proposes a novel framework to simulate and optimize thermal comfort by controlling room conditions and matching them with occupants. The method is developed based on personalized thermal comfort prediction models and the Large Neighborhood Search (LNS) algorithm. To illustrate and validate the algorithm, a case study is provided. The results compare the thermal comfort of the occupants before and after the optimization and show a significant improvement in the thermal comfort. The proposed simulation method is proven to be feasible and efficient in providing an optimal match of occupants and rooms with specific settings, and therefore, can be of great value for the decision-making of the building management. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    Abstract This observational study documents the consequences of a collision between two converging shallow atmospheric boundaries over the central Great Plains on the evening of 7 June 2015. This study uses data from a profiling airborne Raman lidar (the Compact Raman Lidar, or CRL) and other airborne and ground-based data collected during the Plains Elevated Convection At Night (PECAN) field campaign to investigate the collision between a weak cold front and the outflow from a MCS. The collision between these boundaries led to the lofting of high-CAPE, low-CIN air, resulting in deep convection, as well as an undular bore. Both boundaries behaved as density currents prior to collision. Because the MCS outflow boundary was denser and less deep than the cold-frontal airmass, the bore propagated over the latter. This bore was tracked by the CRL for about three hours as it traveled north over the shallow cold-frontal surface and evolved into a soliton. This case study is unique by using the high temporal and spatial resolution of airborne Raman lidar measurements to describe the thermodynamic structure of interacting boundaries and a resulting bore. 
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  5. null (Ed.)