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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-43
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-43
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Development and technical paper 15 Feb 2019

Development and technical paper | 15 Feb 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Development and evaluation of pollen source methodologies for the Victorian Grass Pollen Emissions Module VGPEM1.0

Kathryn M. Emmerson1, Jeremy D. Silver2, Edward Newbigin3, Edwin R. Lampugnani3, Cenk Suphioglu4, Alan Wain5, and Elizabeth Ebert5 Kathryn M. Emmerson et al.
  • 1Climate Science Centre, CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere, Aspendale, VIC 3195, Australia
  • 2School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
  • 3School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
  • 4School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, VIC 3216, Australia
  • 5Bureau of Meteorology, Docklands, VIC 3008, Australia

Abstract. We present the first representation of grass pollen in a 3D dispersion model anywhere in Australia, tested using observations from eight counting sites in Victoria. The region's population has high rates of allergic rhinitis and asthma, and this has been linked to the high incidence of grass pollen allergy. Despite this, grass pollen dispersion in the Australian atmosphere has not been studied previously, and its source strength is untested. We describe ten pollen emission source methodologies examining the strengths of different immediate and seasonal timing functions, and spatial distribution of the sources. The timing function assumes a smooth seasonal term, modulated by an hourly meteorological function. A simple Gaussian representation of the pollen season worked well (average r = 0.54), but lacks the spatial and temporal variation that the satellite-derived Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) data can provide. However poor results were obtained using the EVI gradient (average r = 0.35), which gives the timing when grass turns from maximum greenness to a drying and flowering period; this is due to the greater spatial and temporal variability from this combined spatial and seasonal term. Better results were obtained using statistical methods that combine elements of the EVI dataset, a smooth seasonal term and instantaneous variation based on historical grass pollen observations (average r = 0.69). The seasonal magnitude is inferred from the maximum winter-time EVI, while the timing of the peak of the season was based on the day of the year when the EVI falls to 0.05 below its winter maximum. Measurements are vital to monitor changes in the pollen season, and the new pollen measurement sites in the Victorian network should be maintained.

Kathryn M. Emmerson et al.
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Kathryn M. Emmerson et al.
Kathryn M. Emmerson et al.
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Short summary
We present the first representation of grass pollen in a 3D dispersion model anywhere in Australia, tested using observations from eight counting sites in Victoria. The capability was developed in response to the severe thunderstorm asthma event which took place in Melbourne in November 2016. Ten pollen emission methodologies were developed and evaluated. The best results were obtained using statistical methods that combine elements of the satellite derived Enhanced Vegetation Index.
We present the first representation of grass pollen in a 3D dispersion model anywhere in...
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