Stuart J. Piketh

Stuart J. Piketh
North-West University | NWU ·  Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management

PhD

About

289
Publications
58,824
Reads
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4,172
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2012 - present
North-West University South Africa
Position
  • Professor
April 2012 - present
North-West University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • Undergraduate Climatology and Air Pollution Meteorology
January 2004 - March 2012
University of the Witwatersrand
Position
  • Managing Director
Education
January 1989 - May 2000
University of the Witwatersrand
Field of study
  • Climatology

Publications

Publications (289)
Article
Naturally and anthropogenically emitted aerosols, which are determined by their physical and chemical properties, have an impact on both air quality and the radiative properties of the earth. An important source of atmospheric particulate matter (PM) in South Africa is household combustion for space heating and cooking, which predominantly occurs i...
Article
The Comrades Marathon is South Africa’s – and the world’s – most recognised and largest ultra-marathon event, with over 15 000 participants from across the globe competing in the 89-km road running event each year. Historically, the event has been held before the start of austral winter (20 May – 17 June). However, in 2022, organisers of the race m...
Article
Full-text available
South Africa is the largest national source of industrial atmospheric pollutants in Africa, and the emission of acid-forming pollutants occurs mainly in the eastern Highveld region of the country. However, spatial information on deposition is very sparse beyond the primary emissions zone. Here we quantify wet and dry deposition at four sites from t...
Article
In South Africa, the Highveld region and the Johannesburg-Pretoria megacity are known as global NOx (NOx = NO + NO2) “hotspots” identified by satellite-based instruments. The ultimate sink for atmospheric NOx is conversion to aerosol nitrate. However, measurements of aerosol nitrate concentrations do not provide information on which NOx sources ser...
Article
Full-text available
Marine ecosystems are important drivers of the global climate system. They emit volatile species into the atmosphere, involved in complex reaction cycles that influence the lifetime of greenhouse gases. Sea spray and marine biogenic aerosols affect Earth's climate by scattering solar radiation and controlling cloud microphysical properties. Here we...
Preprint
Aerosol aware microphysics parameterisation schemes are increasingly being introduced into numerical weather prediction models, allowing for regional and case specific parameterisation of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and cloud droplet interactions. In this paper, the Thompson aerosol aware microphysics scheme, within the Weather, Research and Fo...
Article
Full-text available
Emissions from residential solid fuels reduce ambient air quality and cause indoor air pollution resulting in adverse human health. The traditional solid fuels used for cooking include coal, straws, dung, and wood, with the latter identified as the prevalent energy source in developing countries. Emissions from such fuel sources appear to be signif...
Article
Full-text available
This commentary paper from the recently formed International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) Southern Hemisphere Working Group outlines key issues in atmospheric composition research that particularly impact the Southern Hemisphere. In this article, we present a broad overview of many of the challenges for understanding atmospheric chemistry in...
Article
Full-text available
The South African Highveld is recognised as a region having significant negative ambient air quality impacts with its declaration as an Air Quality Priority Area in 2007. Such areas require the implementation of specific air quality intervention strategies to address the air quality situation. A greater understanding of the composition of the atmos...
Article
Full-text available
This global study, which has been coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization Global Atmospheric Watch (WMO/GAW) programme, aims to understand the behaviour of key air pollutant species during the COVID-19 pandemic period of exceptionally low emissions across the globe. We investigated the effects of the differences in both emissions and r...
Article
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The World health organization (WHO) is particularly concerned about the ambient concentrations of Particulate Matter (PM10, PM2.5), Sulphur dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and Ozone (O3). This paper investigates the contributions of both the coal-fired plants and the coal-burning households to these critical pollutants. Using twelve months’...
Preprint
Full-text available
The formation of a river of smoke crossing southern Africa is investigated during the Aerosols, Radiation and Clouds in southern Africa (AEROCLO-sA) campaign in September 2017. A complementary set of global and mesoscale numerical simulations as well as ground-based, airborne and space-borne observations of the dynamics, thermodynamics and composit...
Article
Understanding how exposure to particulate matter impacts human health is complex. Personal exposure is a function of the pollution concentrations measured at any given place and time. The health impacts of this exposure are, amongst other factors, determined by how high pollutant concentrations are and what enters the body. This study considered da...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Vehicle emissions are a major source of air pollution in Thulamela Municipality, Limpopo Province, South Africa. The province is currently experiencing an inflow of people from villages, which increases the human population, the number of vehicles, and vehicle kilometres traveled (VKT). However, there is a lack of baseline data on vehicle emission...
Article
Full-text available
The brick making industry, despite its contribution to environmental pollution, plays a major role in the economic growth of South Africa, with the traditional technology accounting for a significant proportion of the total clay brick production. The aim of this study is to undertake a comprehensive description of the production phases of the tradi...
Preprint
Full-text available
We currently have a limited understanding of the spatial and temporal variability in vertically stratified atmospheric layers over Namibia and the southeast Atlantic (SEA) Ocean. Stratified layers are relevant to the transport and dilution of local and long-range transported atmospheric constituents. This study used eleven years of global positioni...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The PHIRST study (Prospective Household cohort study of Influenza, Respiratory Syncytial virus, and other respiratory pathogens community burden and Transmission dynamics in South Africa) aimed to estimate the community burden of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) including the incidence of infection, symptomatic fraction, and...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Describing contact patterns is crucial to understanding infectious disease transmission dynamics and guiding targeted transmission mitigation interventions. Data on contact patterns in Africa, especially South Africa, are limited. We measured and compared contact patterns in a rural and urban community, South Africa. We assessed partic...
Article
Full-text available
Background Data on influenza community burden and transmission are important to plan interventions especially in resource-limited settings. However, data are limited, particularly from low-income and middle-income countries. We aimed to evaluate the community burden and transmission of influenza in a rural and an urban setting in South Africa. Met...
Article
Full-text available
The Vaal Triangle Airshed Priority Area (VTAPA), like other priority areas in South Africa, has an air pollution problem. Understanding the sources contributing to air pollution in this priority area will assist in the selection and implementation of appropriate control strategies. For this study, aerosol samples in the coarse (PM10-2.5) and fine (...
Article
Full-text available
High concentrations of the ambient particulate matter remain a concern on the South African Highveld, particularly in densely populated low-income settlements. These areas have several local emission sources that contribute to poor air quality and are often located close to industrial and other urban areas. The local sources vary in magnitude, spac...
Article
Full-text available
Domestic solid fuel combustion remains a key contributor to indoor and ambient air pollution in low-income settlements. Understanding solid-fuel cost perceptions and burning patterns variability is required for developing sustainable energy policies and applicable site-specific intervention strategies to effectively improve ambient air quality. The...
Article
A reliable fog forecast can assist in water resource management and mitigate against hazardous effects on transport networks. However, diagnosing fog from numerical weather prediction models remains a challenge and various methods have been developed to achieve this. One approach is to use a multi rule-based method, where threshold values of multip...
Article
Full-text available
During 2016 to 2018, a prospective household cohort study of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus community burden and transmission dynamics (the PHIRST study) was undertaken to examine the factors associated with influenza and other respiratory pathogen transmissions in South Africa. We collected information on housing conditions in the PHIRS...
Article
Full-text available
Southern Africa produces almost a third of the Earth's biomass burning (BB) aerosol particles, yet the fate of these particles and their influence on regional and global climate is poorly understood. ORACLES (ObseRvations of Aerosols above CLouds and their intEractionS) is a 5-year NASA EVS-2 (Earth Venture Suborbital-2) investigation with three in...
Article
Fog has a significant effect on aviation and road transport networks around the world. The International Airport in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, experiences dense fog during winter months that affect operations at the airport. We describe the fog climatology at the airport using 36 years of Meteorological Aerodrome Reports (METAR), an important...
Preprint
Full-text available
Purpose The PHIRST study (Prospective Household cohort study of Influenza, Respiratory Syncytial virus, and other respiratory pathogens community burden and Transmission dynamics in South Africa) aimed to estimate the community burden of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) including the incidence of infection, symptomatic fraction, and...
Article
Full-text available
The chemical composition of aerosols is of particular importance to assess their interactions with radiation, clouds and trace gases in the atmosphere and consequently their effects on air quality and the regional climate. In this study, we present the results of the first long-term dataset of the aerosol chemical composition at an observatory on t...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to characterise indoor thermal environments in low-cost residential dwellings of South Africa in the context of climate change.
Article
Full-text available
Light-absorbing aerosols, particularly black carbon (BC), have significant impacts on human health and the climate. They are also the least-studied fraction of atmospheric particles, particularly in residential areas of southern Africa. The optical characteristics of ground-based light-absorbing aerosols from Kwadela Township in South Africa are in...
Article
Full-text available
For low-income communities in South Africa, coal is the most common solid fuel which is burnt in a variety of devices, including imbaulas and cast-iron stoves. The present work was conducted with the aim of determining the effect of the fuel particle size on the performance of coal, typically sourced in low-income households in townships in South A...
Article
Full-text available
The coal combustion in cast-iron stoves leads to health hazards and air pollution. In this study the CO, SO2, NOx, PM and VOC emission concentrations were measured whilst combusting four fuel particle sizes (15, 20, 30, and 40 mm) as well as a composite of the sizes (all pre-devolatilized at a temperature of 550 °C) in a cast-iron stove. The result...
Preprint
Full-text available
Southern Africa produces almost a third of the Earth’s biomass burning (BB) aerosol particles, yet the fate of these particles and their influence on regional and global climate is poorly understood. ORACLES (ObseRvations of Aerosols above CLouds and their intEractionS) is a five-year NASA EVS-2 (Earth Venture Suborbital-2) investigation with three...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. The chemical composition of aerosols is of particular importance to assess their interactions with radiation, clouds and trace gases in the atmosphere, and consequently their effects on air quality and the regional climate. In this study, we present the results of the first long-term dataset of the aerosol chemical composition at an obser...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates the influence of the 2015 Calbuco eruption (41.2∘ S, 72.4∘ W; Chile) on the total columnar aerosol optical properties over the Southern Hemisphere. The well-known technic of sun photometry was applied for the investigation of the transport and spatio-temporal evolution of the optical properties of the volcanic plume. The CIM...
Article
Full-text available
Biomass burning in Africa provides a prolific source of aerosols that are transported from the source region to distant areas, as far away as South America and Australia. Models have long predicted the primary outflow and transport routes. Over time, field studies have validated the basic production and dynamics that underlie these transport patter...
Article
Full-text available
The southeast Atlantic (SEA) region is host to a climatologically significant biomass burning aerosol layer overlying marine stratocumulus. We present the first results of the directly measured above-cloud aerosol optical depth (ACAOD) from the recent ObseRvations of Aerosols above CLouds and their intEractionS (ORACLES) airborne field campaign dur...
Article
Full-text available
The optical properties of airborne mineral dust depend on its mineralogy, size distribution, and shape, and they might vary between different source regions. To date, large differences in refractive index values found in the literature have not been fully explained. In this paper we present a new dataset of complex refractive indices (m=n-ik) and s...
Article
Full-text available
The editorial speaks to the Global Statement on Air Pollution and Health and How it may assist African countries to eliminate air pollution-related health impacts.
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. This study investigates the influence of the 2015 Calbuco eruption (41.2° S, 72.4° W; Chile) on the total columnar aerosol optical properties over the Southern Hemisphere. The well-known technic of sunphotometry was applied for investigation of the transport and the spatio-temporal evolution of the optical properties of the volcanic plume...
Article
Full-text available
Atmospheric aerosols contribute significantly to the uncertainty in radiative forcing effects that influence the climate as well as posing a significant health risk to humans. The climatic implications of aerosols are dependent on many variables, including aerosol size, shape, chemical composition, and position in the atmospheric column. The radiat...
Article
Full-text available
One of the key challenges noted in the sustainable development goals for good health and wellbeing (SDGs 3) is both ambient and household air pollution. Household solid fuel combustion represents one of the biggest threat to human health in South Africa. This study helps to understand the impact of solid fuel burning in an indoor and ambient enviro...
Article
Full-text available
The optical properties of airborne mineral dust depend on its mineralogy, size distribution, shape, and might vary between different source regions. To date, large differences in refractive index values found in the literature have not been fully explained. In this paper we present a new dataset of complex refractive indices (m=n‒ik) and single sca...
Article
Full-text available
The AEROCLO-sA (AErosol, RadiatiOn and CLOuds in southern Africa) project investigates the role of aerosols on the regional climate of southern Africa. This is a unique environment where natural and anthropogenic aerosols and a semi-permanent and widespread stratocumulus (Sc) cloud deck are found. The project aims to understand the dynamical, chemi...
Preprint
Full-text available
The South-East Atlantic (SEA) is host to a climatologically significant biomass burning aerosol layer overlying marine stratocumulus. We present directly measured Above Cloud Aerosol Optical Depth (ACAOD) from the recent ObseRvations of Aerosols above CLouds and their intEractionS (ORACLES) airborne field campaign during August and September 2016....
Article
Full-text available
The South African Highveld is a portion on the inland plateau characterized by low winter ambient temperatures. Studies done in several climatic regions around the world have found a positive relationship between inadequate housing and low indoor temperatures during the winter season. Prolonged exposure to low indoor temperature is a threat to huma...
Article
Full-text available
Coal-fired power plants are considered a major source of criteria air pollutants. The existence of such activities close to densely populated areas has an impact on human health and more generally on the environment. The impact of a pollutant typically depends on its residence time and the existence of background concentration levels. This study ev...
Article
Full-text available
The South African Highveld is a portion on the inland plateau characterized by low winter ambient temperatures. Studies done in several climatic regions around the world have found a positive relationship between inadequate housing and low indoor temperatures during the winter season. Prolonged exposure to low indoor temperature is a threat to huma...
Article
Full-text available
Continuous measurements between July 2012 and December 2015 at the Henties Bay Aerosol Observatory (HBAO; 22∘S, 14∘05′E), Namibia, show that, during the austral wintertime, transport of light-absorbing black carbon aerosols occurs at low level into the marine boundary layer. The average of daily concentrations of equivalent black carbon (eBC) over...
Poster
Full-text available
A probabilistic approach for estimating emissions from solid fuel burning in low-income residential areas A case in KwaDela