Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-166
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-166

Submitted as: model evaluation paper 29 Jun 2021

Submitted as: model evaluation paper | 29 Jun 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal GMD and is expected to appear here in due course.

Evaluation of global EMEP MSC-W (rv4.34)-WRF (v3.9.1.1) model surface concentrations and wet deposition of reactive N and S with measurements

Yao Ge1,2, Mathew R. Heal1, David S. Stevenson3, Peter Wind4, and Massimo Vieno2 Yao Ge et al.
  • 1School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, Joseph Black Building, David Brewster Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3FJ, UK
  • 2UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian, EH26 0QB, UK
  • 3School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Crew Building, Alexander Crum Brown Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3FF, UK
  • 4The Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Henrik Mohns Plass 1, 0313, Oslo, Norway

Abstract. Atmospheric pollution has many profound effects on human health, ecosystems, and the climate. Of concern are high concentrations and deposition of reactive nitrogen (Nr) species, especially of reduced N (gaseous NH3, particulate NH4+). Atmospheric chemistry and transport models (ACTMs) are crucial to understanding sources and impacts of Nr chemistry and its potential mitigation. Here we undertake the first evaluation of the global version of the EMEP MSC-W ACTM driven by WRF meteorology (1° × 1° resolution), with a focus on surface concentrations and wet deposition of N and S species relevant to investigation of atmospheric Nr and secondary inorganic aerosol (SIA). The model-measurement comparison is conducted both spatially and temporally, covering 9 monitoring networks worldwide. Model simulations for 2010 compared use of both HTAP and ECLIPSEE (ECLIPSE annual total with EDGAR monthly profile) emissions inventories; those for 2015 used ECLIPSEE only. Simulations of primary pollutants are somewhat sensitive to the choice of inventory in places where regional differences in primary emissions between the two inventories are apparent (e.g. China), but much less so for secondary components. For example, the difference in modelled global annual mean surface NH3 concentration using the two 2010 inventories is 18 % (HTAP: 0.26 μg m−3; ECLIPSEE: 0.31 μg m−3) but only 3.5 % for NH4+ (HTAP: 0.316 μg m−3; ECLIPSEE: 0.305 μg m−3). Comparisons of 2010 and 2015 surface concentrations between model and measurement demonstrate that the model captures well the overall spatial and seasonal variations of the major inorganic pollutants NH3, NO2, SO2, HNO3, NH4+, NO3, SO42−, and their wet deposition in East Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe and North America. The model shows better correlations with annual average measurements for networks in Southeast Asia (Mean R for 7 species:  = 0.73), Europe ( = 0.67) and North America ( = 0.63) than in East Asia ( = 0.35) (data for 2015), which suggests potential issues with the measurements in the latter network. Temporally, both model and measurement agree on higher NH3 concentrations in spring and summer, and lower concentrations in winter. The model slightly underestimates annual total precipitation measurements (by 13–34 %) but agrees well with the spatial variations in precipitation in all four world regions (0.65–0.78 R range). High correlations between measured and modelled NH4+ precipitation concentrations are also observed in all regions except East Asia. For annual total wet deposition of reduced N, the greatest consistency is in North America (R = 0.75), followed by Southeast Asia (R = 0.68) and Europe (R = 0.61). Model-measurement bias varies between species in different networks; for example, bias for NH4+ and NO3 is most in Europe and North America and least in East and Southeast Asia. The greater uniformity in spatial correlations than in biases suggests that the major driver of model-measurement discrepancies (aside from differing spatial representativeness and uncertainties and biases in measurements) are shortcomings in absolute emissions rather than in modelling the atmospheric processes. The comprehensive evaluations presented in this study support the application of this model framework for global analysis of current and potential future budgets and deposition of Nr and SIA.

Yao Ge et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2021-166', Anonymous Referee #1, 19 Jul 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Yao GE, 22 Sep 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on gmd-2021-166', Anonymous Referee #2, 27 Jul 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Yao GE, 22 Sep 2021

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2021-166', Anonymous Referee #1, 19 Jul 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Yao GE, 22 Sep 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on gmd-2021-166', Anonymous Referee #2, 27 Jul 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Yao GE, 22 Sep 2021

Yao Ge et al.

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Short summary
This study reports the first evaluation of the global EMEP MSC-W ACTM driven by WRF meteorology, with a focus on surface concentrations and wet deposition of reactive N and S species. The model-measurement comparison is conducted both spatially and temporally, covering 9 monitoring networks worldwide. The statistics from the comprehensive evaluations presented in this study support the application of this model framework for global analysis of the budgets and fluxes of reactive N and SIA.