Aerosol–radiation interaction modelling using online coupling between the WRF 3.7.1 meteorological model and the CHIMERE 2016 chemistry-transport model, through the OASIS3-MCT coupler
Abstract. The presence of airborne aerosols affects the meteorology as it induces a perturbation in the radiation budget, the number of cloud condensation nuclei and the cloud micro-physics. Those effects are difficult to model at regional scale as regional chemistry-transport models are usually driven by a distinct meteorological model or data. In this paper, the coupling of the CHIMERE chemistry-transport model with the WRF meteorological model using the OASIS3-MCT coupler is presented. WRF meteorological fields along with CHIMERE aerosol optical properties are exchanged through the coupler at a high frequency in order to model the aerosol–radiation interactions. The WRF-CHIMERE online model has a higher computational burden than both models run separately in offline mode (up to 42 % higher). This is mainly due to some additional computations made within the models such as more frequent calls to meteorology treatment routines or calls to optical properties computation routines. On the other hand, the overall time required to perform the OASIS3-MCT exchanges is not significant compared to the total duration of the simulations. The impact of the coupling is evaluated on a case study over Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East and western Asia during the summer of 2012, through comparisons of the offline and two online simulations (with and without the aerosol optical properties feedback) to observations of temperature, aerosol optical depth (AOD) and surface PM10 (particulate matter with diameters lower than 10 µm) concentrations. The result shows that using the optical properties feedback induces a radiative forcing (average forcing of −4.8 W m−2) which creates a perturbation in the average surface temperatures over desert areas (up to 2.6° locally) along with an increase in both AOD and PM10 concentrations.