Submitted as: development and technical paper 07 Oct 2020

Submitted as: development and technical paper | 07 Oct 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Development and evaluation of CO2 transport in MPAS-A v6.3

Tao Zheng1, Sha Feng2, Kenneth J. Davis2, Sandip Pal3, and Josep Anton Morguí4 Tao Zheng et al.
  • 1Department of Geography & Institute of Great Lake Research, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI, USA
  • 2Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA
  • 3Department of Geosciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA
  • 4Environmental Science and Technology Institute, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, ICTA-UAB, Bellaterra, Spain

Abstract. Chemistry transport models (CTM) play an important role in understanding fluxes and atmospheric distribution of carbon dioxide (CO2). They have been widely used for modeling CO2 transport through forward simulations and inferring fluxes through inversion systems. With the increasing availability of high resolution observations, it has been become possible to estimate CO2 fluxes at higher spatial resolution. However the computational cost of high resolution global model simulation is so high that only major research and operation centers can afford it. In this paper, we implemented CO2 transport in Model Prediction Across Scales-Atmosphere (MPAS-A). The objective is to use the variable-resolution capability of MPAS-A to enable high resolution CO2 simulation at limited region with a global model. Treating CO2 as an inert tracer, we implemented in MPAS-A (v6.3) the CO2 transport processes, including advection, vertical mixing by boundary layer scheme, and convective transport. We evaluated the newly implemented model by running two sets of simulations over a 60–15 km variable-resolution global domain. The first set of simulations covers four Atmospheric Carbon and Transport-America (ACT-America) aircraft campaign seasons (2016–2018), and the simulated CO2 is evaluated using the extensive airborne measurements from ACT. The simulation accuracy is also compared with a 27-km resolution WRF-Chem simulation and CarbonTracker (v2019) covering the same time periods. The second set of simulations covers the month of January and July of 2014, and the results are evaluated using near-surface hourly CO2 measurements from 50 surface and tower sites across the globe. This simulation accuracy is compared with European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Integrated Forecasting System (IFS) global simulation conducted during the same period. Overall, the evaluation using aircraft measurements indicates that MPAS CO2 transport model is capable of representing the observed atmospheric CO2 structures related with the mid-latitude synoptic weather system, including the warm/cold sector distinction, boundary layer to free troposphere difference, and CO2 enhancements along frontal boundaries. The evaluation using hourly measurements shows that the MPAS CO2 transport model is capable of achieving a same level of accuracy as the IFS 80-km resolution simulation.

Tao Zheng et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
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Tao Zheng et al.

Model code and software

MPAS CO2 transport model Tao Zheng

Tao Zheng et al.


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Short summary
Carbon dioxide is the most important greenhouse. We develop the numerical model that represents carbon dioxide transport in the atmosphere. This model development is based on the MPAS model, which has variable-resolution capability. The purpose of developing carbon dioxide transport in MPAS is to allow for high resolution transport model simulation that is not limited by the lateral boundaries. It will also form the base for a future development of MPAS based carbon inversion system.