Articles | Volume 3, issue 1
22 Jun 2010
 | 22 Jun 2010

A fast stratospheric chemistry solver: the E4CHEM submodel for the atmospheric chemistry global circulation model EMAC

A. J. G. Baumgaertner, P. Jöckel, B. Steil, H. Tost, and R. Sander

Abstract. The atmospheric chemistry general circulation model ECHAM5/MESSy (EMAC) and the atmospheric chemistry box model CAABA are extended by a computationally very efficient submodel for atmospheric chemistry, E4CHEM. It focuses on stratospheric chemistry but also includes background tropospheric chemistry. It is based on the chemistry of MAECHAM4-CHEM and is intended to serve as a simple and fast alternative to the flexible but also computationally more demanding submodel MECCA. In a model setup with E4CHEM, EMAC is now also suitable for simulations of longer time scales. The reaction mechanism contains basic O3, CH4, CO, HOx, NOx, and ClOx gas phase chemistry. In addition, E4CHEM includes optional fast routines for heterogeneous reactions on sulphate aerosols and polar stratospheric clouds (substituting the existing submodels PSC and HETCHEM), and scavenging (substituting the existing submodel SCAV). We describe the implementation of E4CHEM into the MESSy structure of CAABA and EMAC. For some species the steady state in the box model differs by up to 100% when compared to results from CAABA/MECCA due to different reaction rates. After an update of the reaction rates in E4CHEM the mixing ratios in both boxmodel and 3-D model simulations are in satisfactory agreement with the results from a simulation where MECCA with a similar chemistry scheme was employed. Finally, a comparison against a simulation with a more complex and already evaluated chemical mechanism is presented in order to discuss shortcomings associated with the simplification of the chemical mechanism.