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Analysis of Lower Tropospheric Lapse Rate Trend over Port Harcourt Coastal City, Nigeria

DOI: 10.4236/acs.2018.82010, PP. 134-142

Keywords: Lapse Rates, Lower Troposphere, Port Harcourt, Emissions

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Understanding the spatial distribution of temperature, especially the relationship between temperature and altitude, is essential for understanding both climatological and hydrological processes and their variabilities. This is because those processes are sensitive to air temperature, especially in sub humid tropical regions, where air temperature influences the movements of pollutants and controls exchanges of energy and water fluxes between land and atmosphere particularly within the lower troposphere. This study examined the trend of lower tropospheric lapse rate in the coastal area of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Six years’ data (2010-2015) for temperature between 1000 mbar and 850 mbar pressure levels was retrieved from era-interim re-analysis platform for the analysis. The data was acquired at 6-hourly synoptic hours: 0000H, 0600H, 1200H and 1800H at 0.125° grid resolution. Findings from the computed environmental lapse rate (ELR) show that conditional instability with an annual lapse rate of 5.5°C/km persists at the area from January to December. It was revealed that the months of December and January constituted the highest ELR trends of 6.5°C/km and 5.9°C/km respectively. This indicates that the month of December assumes a normal tropospheric lapse rate trend. The average range of lapse rate trend in the area which is close to the moist adiabatic lapse rate (MALR) of 5.0°C/km than the dry adiabatic lapse rate (DALR) shows that the study atmospheric environment is rich in water vapour. The 6-hourly synoptic analysis of the ELR pattern shows that lapse rate range between 1°C/km - 6.4°C/km and 6.5°C/km - 10°C/km


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