Evaluation of the performance of different atmospheric chemical transport models and inter-comparison of nitrogen and sulphur deposition estimates for the UK
Journal article, 2015

An evaluation has been made of a number of contrasting atmospheric chemical transport models, of varying complexity, applied to estimate sulphur and nitrogen deposition in the UK. The models were evaluated by comparison with annually averaged measurements of gas, aerosol and precipitation concentrations from the national monitoring networks. The models were evaluated in relation to performance criteria. They were generally able to satisfy a criterion of 'fitness for purpose' that at least 50% of modelled concentrations should be within a factor of two of measured values. The second criterion, that the magnitude of the normalised mean bias should be less than 20%, was not always satisfied. Considering known uncertainties in measurement techniques, this criterion may be too strict. Overall, simpler models were able to give a good representation of measured gas concentrations whilst the use of dynamic meteorology, and complex photo-chemical reactions resulted complex models. The models were compared graphically by plotting maps and cross-country transects of wet and dry deposition as well as calculating budgets of total wet and dry deposition to the UK for sulphur, oxidised nitrogen and reduced nitrogen. The total deposition to the UK varied by 22-36% amongst the different models depending on the deposition component. At a local scale estimates of both dry and wet deposition for individual 5 km x 5 km model grid squares were found to vary between the different models by up to a factor of 4.

Nitrogen

Inter-comparison

Sulphur

Atmospheric chemical

Acid deposition

Eutrophication

Author

A. J. Dore

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

D.C. Carslaw

King's College London

C. F. Braban

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

M. Cain

Food and Rural Affairs

University of Cambridge

C. Chemel

University of Hertfordshire

C. Conolly

R. Derwent

Rdscientific

S.J. Griffiths

E.ON Technologies

J. Hall

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

G. D. Hayman

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

S. Lawrence

Food and Rural Affairs

S.E. Metcalfe

University of Nottingham

A.L. Redington

Met Office

David Simpson

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

M. A. Sutton

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

P.A. Sutton

Y. S. Tang

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

M. Vieno

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

W.M. Davey

University of Wroclaw

J.D. Whyatt

Lancaster University

Atmospheric Environment

1352-2310 (ISSN)

Vol. 119 131-143

Subject Categories

Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences

DOI

10.1016/j.atmosenv2015.08.008

More information

Latest update

9/6/2018 1