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1.
Atmos Chem Phys ; 19(1): 181-204, 2019.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30828349

RESUMO

An accurate simulation of the absorption properties is key for assessing the radiative effects of aerosol on meteorology and climate. The representation of how chemical species are mixed inside the particles (the mixing state) is one of the major uncertainty factors in the assessment of these effects. Here we compare aerosol optical properties simulations over Europe and North America, coordinated in the framework of the third phase of the Air Quality Model Evaluation International Initiative (AQMEII), to 1 year of AERONET sunphotometer retrievals, in an attempt to identify a mixing state representation that better reproduces the observed single scattering albedo and its spectral variation. We use a single post-processing tool (FlexAOD) to derive aerosol optical properties from simulated aerosol speciation profiles, and focus on the absorption enhancement of black carbon when it is internally mixed with more scattering material, discarding from the analysis scenes dominated by dust. We found that the single scattering albedo at 440 nm (ω 0,440) is on average overestimated (underestimated) by 3-5 % when external (core-shell internal) mixing of particles is assumed, a bias comparable in magnitude with the typical variability of the quantity. The (unphysical) homogeneous internal mixing assumption underestimates ω 0,440 by ~ 14 %. The combination of external and core-shell configurations (partial internal mixing), parameterized using a simplified function of air mass aging, reduces the ω 0,440 bias to -1/-3 %. The black carbon absorption enhancement (E abs) in core-shell with respect to the externally mixed state is in the range 1.8-2.5, which is above the currently most accepted upper limit of ~ 1.5. The partial internal mixing reduces E abs to values more consistent with this limit. However, the spectral dependence of the absorption is not well reproduced, and the absorption Ångström exponent AAE 675 440 is overestimated by 70-120 %. Further testing against more comprehensive campaign data, including a full characterization of the aerosol profile in terms of chemical speciation, mixing state, and related optical properties, would help in putting a better constraint on these calculations.

2.
Atmos Chem Phys ; 18(14): 10199-10218, 2018 Jul 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30450115

RESUMO

The evaluation and intercomparison of air quality models is key to reducing model errors and uncertainty. The projects AQMEII3 and EURODELTA-Trends, in the framework of the Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollutants and the Task Force on Measurements and Modelling, respectively (both task forces under the UNECE Convention on the Long Range Transport of Air Pollution, LTRAP), have brought together various regional air quality models to analyze their performance in terms of air concentrations and wet deposition, as well as to address other specific objectives. This paper jointly examines the results from both project communities by intercomparing and evaluating the deposition estimates of reduced and oxidized nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) in Europe simulated by 14 air quality model systems for the year 2010. An accurate estimate of deposition is key to an accurate simulation of atmospheric concentrations. In addition, deposition fluxes are increasingly being used to estimate ecological impacts. It is therefore important to know by how much model results differ and how well they agree with observed values, at least when comparison with observations is possible, such as in the case of wet deposition. This study reveals a large variability between the wet deposition estimates of the models, with some performing acceptably (according to previously defined criteria) and others underestimating wet deposition rates. For dry deposition, there are also considerable differences between the model estimates. An ensemble of the models with the best performance for N wet deposition was made and used to explore the implications of N deposition in the conservation of protected European habitats. Exceedances of empirical critical loads were calculated for the most common habitats at a resolution of 100 × 100 m2 within the Natura 2000 network, and the habitats with the largest areas showing exceedances are determined. Moreover, simulations with reduced emissions in selected source areas indicated a fairly linear relationship between reductions in emissions and changes in the deposition rates of N and S. An approximate 20 % reduction in N and S deposition in Europe is found when emissions at a global scale are reduced by the same amount. European emissions are by far the main contributor to deposition in Europe, whereas the reduction in deposition due to a decrease in emissions in North America is very small and confined to the western part of the domain. Reductions in European emissions led to substantial decreases in the protected habitat areas with critical load exceedances (halving the exceeded area for certain habitats), whereas no change was found, on average, when reducing North American emissions in terms of average values per habitat.

3.
Atmos Chem Phys ; 18: 2727-2744, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30972110

RESUMO

In this study we introduce a hybrid ensemble consisting of air quality models operating at both the global and regional scale. The work is motivated by the fact that these different types of models treat specific portions of the atmospheric spectrum with different levels of detail, and it is hypothesized that their combination can generate an ensemble that performs better than mono-scale ensembles. A detailed analysis of the hybrid ensemble is carried out in the attempt to investigate this hypothesis and determine the real benefit it produces compared to ensembles constructed from only global-scale or only regional-scale models. The study utilizes 13 regional and 7 global models participating in the Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollutants phase 2 (HTAP2)-Air Quality Model Evaluation International Initiative phase 3 (AQMEII3) activity and focuses on surface ozone concentrations over Europe for the year 2010. Observations from 405 monitoring rural stations are used for the evaluation of the ensemble performance. The analysis first compares the modelled and measured power spectra of all models and then assesses the properties of the mono-scale ensembles, particularly their level of redundancy, in order to inform the process of constructing the hybrid ensemble. This study has been conducted in the attempt to identify that the improvements obtained by the hybrid ensemble relative to the mono-scale ensembles can be attributed to its hybrid nature. The improvements are visible in a slight increase of the diversity (4 % for the hourly time series, 10 % for the daily maximum time series) and a smaller improvement of the accuracy compared to diversity. Root mean square error (RMSE) improved by 13-16 % compared to G and by 2-3 % compared to R. Probability of detection (POD) and false-alarm rate (FAR) show a remarkable improvement, with a steep increase in the largest POD values and smallest values of FAR across the concentration ranges. The results show that the optimal set is constructed from an equal number of global and regional models at only 15 % of the stations. This implies that for the majority of the cases the regional-scale set of models governs the ensemble. However given the high degree of redundancy that characterizes the regional-scale models, no further improvement could be expected in the ensemble performance by adding yet more regional models to it. Therefore the improvement obtained with the hybrid set can confidently be attributed to the different nature of the global models. The study strongly reaffirms the importance of an in-depth inspection of any ensemble of opportunity in order to extract the maximum amount of information and to have full control over the data used in the construction of the ensemble.

4.
Atmos Chem Phys ; 17(4): 3001-3054, 2017.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30147713

RESUMO

Through the comparison of several regional-scale chemistry transport modeling systems that simulate meteorology and air quality over the European and North American continents, this study aims at (i) apportioning error to the responsible processes using timescale analysis, (ii) helping to detect causes of model error, and (iii) identifying the processes and temporal scales most urgently requiring dedicated investigations. The analysis is conducted within the framework of the third phase of the Air Quality Model Evaluation International Initiative (AQMEII) and tackles model performance gauging through measurement-to-model comparison, error decomposition, and time series analysis of the models biases for several fields (ozone, CO, SO2, NO, NO2, PM10, PM2.5, wind speed, and temperature). The operational metrics (magnitude of the error, sign of the bias, associativity) provide an overallsense of model strengths and deficiencies, while apportioning the error to its constituent parts (bias, variance, and covariance) can help assess the nature and quality of the error. Each of the error components is analyzed independently and apportioned to specific processes based on the corresponding timescale (long scale, synoptic, diurnal, and intraday) using the error apportionment technique devised in the former phases of AQMEII. The application of the error apportionment method to the AQMEII Phase 3 simulations provides several key insights. In addition to reaffirming the strong impact of model inputs (emission and boundary conditions) and poor representation of the stable boundary layer on model bias, results also highlighted the high interdependencies among meteorological and chemical variables, as well as among their errors. This indicates that the evaluation of air quality model performance for individual pollutants needs to be supported by complementary analysis of meteorological fields and chemical precursors to provide results that are more insightful from a model development perspective. This will require evaluaion methods that are able to frame the impact on error of processes, conditions, and fluxes at the surface. For example, error due to emission and boundary conditions is dominant for primary species (CO, particulate matter (PM)), while errors due to meteorology and chemistry are most relevant to secondary species, such as ozone. Some further aspects emerged whose interpretation requires additional consideration, such as the uniformity of the synoptic error being region- and model-independent, observed for several pollutants; the source of unexplained variance for the diurnal component; and the type of error caused by deposition and at which scale.

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