Performance of European chemistry transport models as function of horizontal resolution
Journal article, 2015

Air pollution causes adverse effects on human health as well as ecosystems and crop yield and also has an impact on climate change trough short-lived climate forcers. To design mitigation strategies for air pollution, 3D Chemistry Transport Models (CTMs) have been developed to support the decision process. Increases in model resolution may provide more accurate and detailed information, but will cubically increase computational costs and pose additional challenges concerning high resolution input data. The motivation for the present study was therefore to explore the impact of using finer horizontal grid resolution for policy support applications of the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP) model within the Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) convention. The goal was to determine the "optimum resolution" at which additional computational efforts do not provide increased model performance using presently available input data. Five regional CTMs performed four runs for 2009 over Europe at different horizontal resolutions. The models' responses to an increase in resolution are broadly consistent for all models. The largest response was found for NO2 followed by PM10 and O-3. Model resolution does not impact model performance for rural background conditions. However, increasing model resolution improves the model performance at stations in and near large conglomerations. The statistical evaluation showed that the increased resolution better reproduces the spatial gradients in pollution regimes, but does not help to improve significantly the model performance for reproducing observed temporal variability. This study clearly shows that increasing model resolution is advantageous, and that leaving a resolution of 50 km in favour of a resolution between 10 and 20 km is practical and worthwhile. As about 70% of the model response to grid resolution is determined by the difference in the spatial emission distribution, improved emission allocation procedures at high spatial and temporal resolution are a crucial factor for further model resolution improvements. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Model evaluation

Ozone

Nitrogen oxides

Particulate matter

Air quality

Author

M. Schaap

Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)

C. Cuvelier

European Commission Joint Research Centre, Ispra

C. Hendriks

Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)

B. Bessagnet

Institut National de l'Environnement Industriel et des Risques (INERIS)

J. M. Baldasano

Centro Nacional de Supercomputacion

A. Colette

Institut National de l'Environnement Industriel et des Risques (INERIS)

P. Thunis

European Commission Joint Research Centre, Ispra

D. Karam

European Commission Joint Research Centre, Ispra

H. Fagerli

Norwegian Meteorological Institute

A. Graff

Umweltbundesamt, Germany

R. Kranenburg

Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)

A. Nyiri

Norwegian Meteorological Institute

M. T. Pay

Centro Nacional de Supercomputacion

L. Rouil

Institut National de l'Environnement Industriel et des Risques (INERIS)

M. Schulz

Norwegian Meteorological Institute

David Simpson

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Global Environmental Measurements and Modelling

R. Stern

Freie Universität Berlin

E. Terrenoire

Institut National de l'Environnement Industriel et des Risques (INERIS)

P. Wind

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Norwegian Meteorological Institute

Atmospheric Environment

1352-2310 (ISSN)

Vol. 112 90-105

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences

Roots

Basic sciences

DOI

10.1016/j.atmosenv.2015.04.003

More information

Latest update

4/10/2018