Info utili

Follow us on twitter

Research topics in

METEOROLOGY, CLIMATOLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY

www.meteo.unina.it

 
Staff
 
Research Lines
Prof. Adriano Mazzarella (Meteorological characterization of urban sites)
Prof. Nicola Scafetta (Analysis and modeling of climatic changes)
Dr. Umberto Riccard(Evaluation of the atmospheric precipitable water at local scale using ground-based CGNSS measurements)
Dr. Raffaele Viola (Biometeorology and air pollution)
 
Addressed topics: 
 
  1 ) Global and local climate change
  2 ) Solar activity and interactions between astronomical forcings and geophysical systems
  3 ) Atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial tides
  4 ) Atmosphere and ocean circulations
  5 ) Sea level change
  6 ) Urbanization and climate
  7 ) Air pollution and environmental medicine
  8 ) Chaotic and fractal characterization of natural phenomena
  9 ) Analysis and modeling for climate forecasts
10 ) History of meteorology, climatology and oceanography
 
General themes in meteorology, climatology and oceanography:
 
Meteorology is the study of the weather, climatology is the study of local and global weather conditions for at least 30 years, and oceanography is the study of everything that relates to the oceans and the seas. Since ancient times, these disciplines have been fundamental for the development of human civilization, and in the everyday work and life. Industry, trade, agriculture, energy production, transport, economy, health and environment protection, sport, tourism, construction, navigation, fishing, hunting, cinema and even fashion are all areas that have been and continue to be greatly influenced by these sciences.
 
The Meteorological Observatory of S. Marcellino of the University of Naples Federico II offers courses in meteorology, climatology and oceanography. Our research aims to discover and understand how environmental phenomena work. We study how these systems are physically interconnected to each other, how they are related to the geology and the geophysics of the solid earth, such as to seismology and volcanology, and how they depend on solar activity and other astronomical forcings. We address also issues about how human activity can affect local and global environments and cause climate changes. Finally, we study how to prevent or mitigate the adverse effects of environmental changes and/or how to adapt to them to obtain the best economic and social benefits. A careful study of the weather, the climate and the oceans is necessary to understand modern environmental issues on which the human prosperity on our planet largely depends.
 
The Meteorological Observatory of the University of Naples Federico II is at the forefront in addressing issues of great general interest such as the global warming of the Earth. The global warming observed since 1850 has been commonly attributed to the placing into the atmosphere of large amounts of greenhouse gases (e.g. carbon dioxide, methane, etc) produced by human activities. Climate changes associated with global warming can affect the extreme weather events (e.g. the frequency of extraordinary occurrences of rain, snow, hurricanes etc.) and the dynamics, the chemistry and the biology of the oceans. For example, sea levels may rise or fall and alter the geography of the coasts having huge economic and social repercussions. However, today we are also experiencing a period of intense ideological anthropocentrism that presents man as the sole changer, for the better or for the worse, of the atmosphere-land-ocean heat engine system, and there is a diffused illusion that man can control climate. On the contrary, a correct description and quantification of the natural variability of the climate system is the basis for an appropriate assessment of the anthropogenic contribution to it and for every political decision related to this topic. Several recent studies, including those published by us, have highlighted the existence of peculiar natural climatic oscillations at the decadal, secular and millennial scales. We are investigating the internal, solar and astronomical origins of the natural climatic variability. Understanding the dynamics of the atmosphere and of the oceans is essential for a proper interpretation of both the climate changes of the past and of any reliable global and local climate forecast at the short, medium and long terms.
The courses in meteorology, climatology and oceanography are designed also to educate the students to better familiarize with the scientific method. This is characterized by a careful comparison between empirical-physical analyses of natural phenomena and the predictions of theoretical models. For example, one of the dominant paradigms in modern science is to study and understand how complex systems (such as the meteorological, climatic and oceanic ones) work. In complex systems physical and chemical processes are regulated by dynamical and thermodynamical parameters interconnected to each other and regulated by countless positive and negative feedbacks. Traditionally, it has been hypothesized that physical phenomena could be described by the set of physical equations of its components. However, the analytical method is rooted in reductionism. This approach is inefficient for describing complex systems where much of the information is still uncertain. Complex systems are often characterized by chaos where microscopic events are capable to trigger macroscopic events and, therefore, these systems may be unpredictable: in this regard it is usually said that after a month the beating of a butterfly in the Amazon could set off a storm in New York. Complex forms of synchronization and teleconnection patterns, which can be activated by weak physical couplings, also characterize physical networks. The weakness of the reductionist approach can be overcome by empirical and holistic approaches that we are also developing. The atmosphere and the ocean systems need to be analyzed in their entirety in order to identify and highlight their natural and anthropogenic variability.
The only way to get accurate information in meteorology, climatology and oceanography is to make measurements in the right place at the right time. In science people should not rely solely on the use of computers and mathematical models. It is through the instrumental measures that science matures and replaces the qualitative analysis. In the past, the attention to the meteorological and environmental issues was greater. For example, during the last century three weather stations within the city of Naples were operating: the Astronomical Observatory, the Vesuvius Observatory and the Baths of Agnano. These stations have been dismissed. Only in recent years, the Meteorological Observatory of S. Marcellino has tried to pursue a policy of adopting numerous weather stations already operating in the territory of the Region of Campania enabling agreements with various organizations.
 
Indeed, there is a growing demand for weather information, which, however, in Italy is not satisfied by any corresponding didactic and informative efforts at the university levels. The Meteorological Observatory of the University of Naples Federico II offers students and researchers a unique opportunity in this regard. The Institute ISAFOM CNR has requested and obtained the installation of additional weather sensors, such as the sonic anemometer and minilidar to measure the atmospheric mixing layer, and concentrations and fluxes of CO2, H2O, CH4, O3, N , NO2, NOx particulates at different dimensional bands (PM1, PM2.5, PM10). The installation of new equipments, operational since November 2014, has effectively promoted the Meteorological Observatory of S. Marcellino as a supersite for monitoring air pollution. The World Health Organization considers the latter one of the most important causes of death for those who live in large cities. Our supersite is unique in Italy and, finally, it will be able to provide accurate information and forecasts of air quality. The time is now matured to create a weather forecasting service entrusted to the University and to consider the climate and weather topics of a general interest. For more details visit: http://www.ariasana.org/
Finally, the Meteorological Observatory of the University of Naples Federico II studies the urban environment to improve the city life quality. For example, the city of Naples, as all metropolitan cities, suffers from the urban heat island that originates both from the typical geometrical layout of the city with narrow roads compared to the vertical development of the buildings, and from the particular urban fabric that consists mainly of asphalt, brick and concrete, which absorb on average 10% more solar energy. In summer, during the sunniest hours, the asphalt and the outer walls of the city buildings often reach temperatures above 60-90 °C. The urban canyons are able to capture more solar radiation through a process of multiple reflections that, in a kind of ping-pong, is trapped by the walls of the buildings and the surface of the roads. Within the perimeter of the city the urban heat island is stressed also by the rather small extension of evaporating surfaces such as ponds, meadows and green areas. In fact, the evaporation from the moistly soil and tree leaves subtracts enormous amount of heat from the air: about 600 calories per gram of water that evaporates. A lower evaporation from the urban areas than in the rural ones yields a warming above the city relative to the countryside. If during the cold season the urban heat island leads an increase of the temperature ​​within the city mitigating the winter low temperatures, this phenomenon can be particularly harmful to human health during the summer as the heat waves during the day remain high also during night. The urban heat island is also able to dramatically change the thermodynamic equilibrium of the air stratification that governs the stability of the air masses and the diffusion of pollutants. To address these issues it is important to perform a detailed climatic analysis of the entire metropolitan area with the aid of fixed and mobile stations strategically located in order to identify the different micro-climates of the city.
 
The students of the University of Naples Federico II are invited to follow the courses of meteorology, climatology and oceanography. These courses provide the necessary complement for a scientific balanced formation that must include our environment. Researchers in mathematics, physics and natural sciences will be stimulated in addressing issues that have a great global and local significance.
 
Evaluation of the atmospheric precipitable water at local scale using ground-based CGNSS measurements
 
From the pioneer paper by Bevis et al. (J. Geophys. Res., 97, 15787–15801, 1992)  the GPS has been applying in meteorology and mainly for precipitable water (PW) retrieval, so that the atmospheric effect is going to be transformed from a noise source, degrading the accuracy of the geodetic observations, into a valuable meteorological probe. Actually Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) has demonstrated its ability to monitor the atmospheric water vapor content with an accuracy comparable to other techniques and means of measurements (e.g. radio soundings, microwave radiometers), even with good time resolution and under all meteorological conditions. The nowadays extensive use of permanent GPS stations, operating for geodetic purposes, offers a tool for a dense and reliable remote sensing of atmospheric water vapor.
 
The DiSTAR is engaged in a research subject in co-operation with Research teams from INGV (Osservatorio Vesuviano) and Ecole et Observatoire des Scences de la Terre (University of Strasbourg-France) dealing with such an application of GPS technique in meteorology aimed mainly at weather hazard mitigation.
 
A previous study (Riccardi et al., 2013; Tammaro et al., 2014)  was focused on the rainfall event occurred on October 12th 2012, when a cold front coming  from Thyrrenian Sea and moving towards SE has struck the South of Italy. A double thunderstorm cluster enucleates since 07:00 UTC breaking out a heavy event with large rain amount concentrated in a very short time span; about 40 mm of rain in about 50 minutes were detected at MAFE (Napoli) station; this event produced severe damages in Napoli city and neighbouring areas. In this study we used CGPS measurements collected at five GPS permanent stations: 1) ENAV-Punta Campanella (Sorrento Peninsula), 2) CAGL- Cagliari, 3) MATE- Matera, 4) MAFE, located in Napoli at DiSTAR (University “Federico II” of Napoli), 5) PACA, located in Palma Campania; both stations are co-managed by DiSTAR and INGV and belong to the GPS network of Neapolitan volcanic area (NeVoCGPS), PACA is even included in the GPS network of Italian Space Agency (ASI). Aimed at detecting any traces in the GPS signals, we analysed the phase residuals for each visible GPS satellite at MAFE station above the elevation cutoff angle. The GPS observations (Figure) in the vicinity of the heavy rainfall area were all consistent with the water vapor depicted in the infrared channel of the Meteo satellites (MSG) in the Euro-Atlantic area. 
 
In cooperation with researchers from EOST-Strasbourg, a mobile network of 3 new stations (GRAG-Gragnano; PGR1-Poggiomarino and DESE-Massalubrense) has been installed the last September aimed at densifying the existing GNSS network in order to try a modelling of the PW in the Vesuvian sector of the Campania Region. The ultimate challange of this study will be, through the time variable tomographic map of the precipitable water as well as the evaluation of the feasibility of a meteorological early warning system for selected areas of the Campania region highly exposed to the environmental risk due to heavy precipitations.
Sky-plot a 4 hr dei residui di fase medi  stimati  ed immagini all’infrarosso scattate da satellite MSG. 
Collaborations:
- Benedetto De Vivo (Environmental pollution)
Rosa di Maio (Natural and anthropical hazards)
- AriaSana ISAFOM CNR (Microclimatic characterization of the metropolitan air of Naples and of Campania)
- ACRIM (Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor, San Diego, California USA)
- Duke University (Department of Anesthesiology: Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Environmental Physiology, North Carolina, USA)
-Umberto Tammaro (INGV – Sez. Osservatorio Vesuviano di Napoli)
-Frederic Masson (Ecole et Observatoire de Sciences de la Terre (EOST-Università di Strasburgo-Francia))
 
Selection of recent publications
 
Vitagliano, E., Di Maio, R., Scafetta, N., Calcaterra, D., Zanchettin, D.: Wavelet analysis of remote sensing and discharge data for understanding vertical ground movements in sandy and clayey terrains of the Po Delta area (Northern Italy)
(2017) Journal of Hydrology, 550, pp. 386-398.. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.05.017

Scafetta, N., Milani, F., Bianchini, A., Ortolani, S. : On the astronomical origin of the Hallstatt oscillation found in radiocarbon and climate records throughout the Holocene
(2016) Earth-Science Reviews, 162, pp. 24-43. DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2016.09.004

Fortelli, A., Scafetta, N., Mazzarella, A.: Influence of synoptic and local atmospheric patterns on PM10 air pollution levels: a model application to Naples (Italy)
(2016) Atmospheric Environment, 143, pp. 218-228. DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2016.08.050

Mazzarella, A., Scafetta, N. : Evidences for higher nocturnal seismic activity at the Mt. Vesuvius. (2016) Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 321, pp. 102-113. DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2016.04.026

Scafetta, N.: High resolution coherence analysis between planetary and climate oscillations. (2016) Advances in Space Research, 57 (10), pp. 2121-2135. DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2016.02.029

Scafetta, N.: Problems in modeling and forecasting climate change: Cmip5 general circulation models versus a semi-empirical model based on natural oscillations. (2016) International Journal of Heat and Technology, 34 (Special Issue 2), pp. S435-S442. DOI: 10.18280/ijht.34S235

Scafetta, N., Mazzarella, A.: Effects of march 20, 2015, partial (~50%) solar eclipse on meteorological parameters in the urban area of Naples (italy). (2016) Annals of Geophysics, 59 (1), art. no. A0106. DOI: 10.4401/ag-6899

Fortelli, A., Scafetta, N., Mazzarella, A. : Local warming in the historical center of Naples. (2016) International Journal of Heat and Technology, 34 (Special Issue 2), pp. S569-S572.. DOI: 10.18280/ijht.34S252

Scafetta, N., Mazzarella, A.: The arctic and Antarctic sea-ice area index records versus measured and modeled temperature data. (2015) Advances in Meteorology, 2015, art. no. 481834, . Cited 2 times.
DOI: 10.1155/2015/481834

Mörner, N.-A., Scafetta, N., Solheim, J.-E.: The January 7 giant solar flare, the simultaneous triple planetary conjunction and additional records at Tromsø, Northern Norway. (2015) Planetary Influence on the Sun and the Earth, and a Modern Book-Burning, pp. 33-38. Cited 1 time.

Scafetta, N., Mazzarella, A.: Spectral coherence between climate oscillations and the M ≥ 7 earthquake historical worldwide record. (2015) Natural Hazards, 76 (3), pp. 1807-1829. Cited 3 times. DOI: 10.1007/s11069-014-1571-z
 
Scafetta N., Mazzarella A.: Evidences for a spectral coherence between decadal and multidecadal climatic oscillations and the M>7 earthquake historical worldwide record. Natural Hazards, in press, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11069-014-1571-z
 
Scafetta, N.: Discussion on the spectral coherence between planetary, solar and climate oscillations: a reply to some critiques. Astrophysics and Space Science 354, 275-299, 2014, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10509-014-2111-8
 
Donadio C., Magdaleno F.,  Mazzarella A., Kondolf  K. G.: Fractal dimension of the hydrographic pattern of three large rivers in the Mediterranean morphoclimatic system: geomorphologic interpretation of Russian (USA), Ebro (Spain) and Volturno (Italy) fluvial geometry. Pure Applied Geophysics,  in press, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00024-014-0910-z
 
Scafetta, N., Willson R. C.: ACRIM total solar irradiance satellite composite validation versus TSI proxy models. Astrophysics and Space Science 350(2), 421-442, 2014, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10509-013-1775-9
 
Scafetta, N.: The complex planetary synchronization structure of the solar system. Pattern Recognition in Physics 2, 1-19, 2014, http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/prp-2-1-2014
 
Scafetta N.: Multi-scale dynamical analysis (MSDA) of sea level records versus PDO, AMO, and NAO indexes. Climate Dynamics 43(1-2), 175-192, 2014, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00382-013-1771-3
 
Scafetta N.: Global temperatures and sunspot numbers. Are they related? Yes, but non linearly. A reply to Gil-Alana et al. (2014). Physica A, 413, 329–342, 2014, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physa.2014.06.047
 
Tammaro U., Riccardi U., Sorrentino V., Forte I. (2014): “Non-geodetic” approaches in the analysis of terrestrial CDGPS data for the retrieval of the atmospheric precipitable water at local scale during severe weather phenomena. p. 169-174. IEEE Catalog Number CFP1466H-CDR; ISBN: 978-1-4799-4989-2
 
Scafetta N., Willson R. C.: Planetary harmonics in the historical Hungarian aurora record (1523–1960). Planetary and Space Science 78, 38-44, 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2013.01.005
 
Scafetta N.: Discussion on common errors in analyzing sea level accelerations, solar trends and global warming. Pattern Recognition in Physics, 1, 37–57, 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/prp-1-37-2013
 
Scafetta N., Willson R. C.: Multi-scale comparative spectral analysis of satellite total solar irradiance measurements from 2003 to 2013 reveals a non-linear planetary modulation of solar activity depending on the 11-year solar cycle. Pattern Recognition in Physics 1, 123-133, 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/prp-1-123-2013
 
Scafetta N.: Solar and planetary oscillation control on climate change: hind-cast, forecast and a comparison with the CMIP5 GCMs. Energy & Environment 24(3-4), 455–496, 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.1260/0958-305X.24.3-4.455
 
Scafetta N., Willson R. C.: Empirical evidences for a planetary modulation of total solar irradiance and the TSI signature of the 1.09-year Earth-Jupiter conjunction cycle. Astrophysics and Space Science 348(1), 25-39, 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10509-013-1558-3
 
Scafetta, N.: Discussion on climate oscillations: CMIP5 general circulation models versus a semi-empirical harmonic model based on astronomical cycles. Earth-Science Reviews 126, 321-357, 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2013.08.008
 
Mazzarella A., Giuliacci A., Scafetta N.: Quantifying the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) coupling to CO2 concentration and to length of day variations.  Theor. Appl. Climatol., 111, 601-607, 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00704-012-0696-9
 
Mazzarella, A.: Time-integrated North Atlantic Oscillation as a proxy for climatic change. Natural Science, 5, 149-155, 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ns.2013.51A023
 
Scafetta N., Humlum O., Solheim J.-E., Stordahl K.: Comment on “The influence of planetary attractions on the solar tachocline” by Callebaut, de Jager and Duhau. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar–Terrestrial Physics 102, 368-371, 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jastp.2013.03.007
 
Riccardi U., Tammaro U., Capuano P. (2013).” Evaluation of the atmospheric precipitable water at local scale during extreme weather using groundbased CGPS measurements”. Proceedings of 2013 IEEE Workshop on Environmental, Energy and Structural Monitoring Systems. (Trento September 11-12, 2013) p. 37-40. ISBN: 978-1-4799-0628-4, IEEE Catalog Number: CFP1366H-CDR.
 
Riccardi U., Tammaro U., Capuano P. (2013).” Integration of CGPS and meteorological data for atmospheric precipitable water retrieval: some case histories concerning the Campania Region”. Proceedings of 32° Convegno Gruppo Nazionale Geofisica della Terra Solida GNGTS. (Trieste November 19-21, 2013) p. 37-40. ISBN: 978-1-4799-0628-4
 
Scafetta N.: A shared frequency set between the historical mid-latitude aurora records and the global surface temperature. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 74, 145-163, 2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jastp.2011.10.013
 
Scafetta N.: Does the Sun work as a nuclear fusion amplifier of planetary tidal forcing? A proposal for a physical mechanism based on the mass-luminosity relation. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 81-82, 27-40, 2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jastp.2012.04.002
 
Scafetta N.: Testing an astronomically based decadal-scale empirical harmonic climate model versus the IPCC (2007) general circulation climate models. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 80, 124-137, 2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jastp.2011.12.005
 
Scafetta N.: Multi-scale harmonic model for solar and climate cyclical variation throughout the Holocene based on Jupiter-Saturn tidal frequencies plus the 11-year solar dynamo cycle. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 80, 296-311, 2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jastp.2012.02.016
 
Manzi V., Gennari R., Lugli S., Roveri M., Scafetta N., Schreiber C.: High-frequency cyclicity in the Mediterranean Messinian evaporites: evidence for solar-lunar climate forcing. Journal of Sedimentary Research 82, 991-1005, 2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.2110/jsr.2012.81
 
Mazzarella A, Scafetta N.: Evidences for a quasi 60-year North Atlantic Oscillation since 1700 and its meaning for global climate change. Theor. Appl. Climatol., 107, 599-609, 2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00704-011-0499-4
 
Scafetta N.: Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 72, 951-970, 2010, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jastp.2010.04.015
 
Mazzarella A., Giuliacci A., Liritzis I.: On the 60-month cycle of Multivariate ENSO Index. Theor. Appl. Climatol., 100, 23-27, 2010, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00704-009-0159-0
 
Loehle C., Scafetta N.: Climate change attribution using empirical decomposition of climatic data. The Open Atmospheric Science Journal 5, 74-86, 2011, http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1874282301105010074
 
Mazzarella A., Giuliacci A., Pregliasco F.:  Hypothesis on a possible role of El Niño in the occurrence of influenza pandemics.  Theor. Appl. Climatol., 105, 65-69, 2011, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00704-010-0375-7
 
Scafetta N.: Empirical analysis of the solar contribution to global mean air surface temperature change. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 71, 1916-1923, 2009, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jastp.2009.07.007
 
Scafetta N., Willson R. C.: 2009. ACRIM-gap and Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) trend issue resolved using a surface magnetic flux TSI proxy model. Geophysical Research Letter 36, L05701, 2009, http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2008GL036307
cuccio