Development and application of the WRFPLUS-Chem online chemistry adjoint and WRFDA-Chem assimilation system
- Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, 80309, USA
Abstract. Here we present the online meteorology and chemistry adjoint and tangent linear model, WRFPLUS-Chem (Weather Research and Forecasting plus chemistry), which incorporates modules to treat boundary layer mixing, emission, aging, dry deposition, and advection of black carbon aerosol. We also develop land surface and surface layer adjoints to account for coupling between radiation and vertical mixing. Model performance is verified against finite difference derivative approximations. A second-order checkpointing scheme is created to reduce computational costs and enable simulations longer than 6 h. The adjoint is coupled to WRFDA-Chem, in order to conduct a sensitivity study of anthropogenic and biomass burning sources throughout California during the 2008 Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS) field campaign. A cost-function weighting scheme was devised to reduce the impact of statistically insignificant residual errors in future inverse modeling studies. Results of the sensitivity study show that, for this domain and time period, anthropogenic emissions are overpredicted, while wildfire emission error signs vary spatially. We consider the diurnal variation in emission sensitivities to determine at what time sources should be scaled up or down. Also, adjoint sensitivities for two choices of land surface model (LSM) indicate that emission inversion results would be sensitive to forward model configuration. The tools described here are the first step in conducting four-dimensional variational data assimilation in a coupled meteorology–chemistry model, which will potentially provide new constraints on aerosol precursor emissions and their distributions. Such analyses will be invaluable to assessments of particulate matter health and climate impacts.