Articles | Volume 8, issue 6
Model description paper
23 Jun 2015
Model description paper |  | 23 Jun 2015

Development and application of the WRFPLUS-Chem online chemistry adjoint and WRFDA-Chem assimilation system

J. J. Guerrette and D. K. Henze

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.

Short summary
WRFPLUS-Chem is a coupled meteorology-chemistry adjoint and tangent linear model, with applications in sensitivity analysis and four-dimensional variational data assimilation. The linearized models are verified against finite difference approximations from the nonlinear forward model, WRF-Chem. A new checkpointing scheme enables data assimilation beyond 6h. New capabilities are demonstrated in an emission sensitivity study.