Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/gmd-2017-73
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Model evaluation paper
27 Mar 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).
A description and evaluation of an air quality model nested within global and regional composition-climate models using MetUM
Lucy S. Neal1, Mohit Dalvi2, Gerd Folberth2, Rachel N. McInnes2,3, Paul Agnew1, Fiona M. O'Connor2, Nicholas H. Savage1, and Marie Tilbee1 1Met Office, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, EX1 3PB, United Kingdom
2Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, EX1 3PB, United Kingdom
3European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School, Knowledge Spa, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, TR1 3HD, UK
Abstract. There is a clear need for the development of modelling frameworks for both climate change and air quality to help inform policies for addressing these issues. This paper presents an initial attempt to develop a single modelling framework, by introducing a greater degree of consistency in the modelling framework by using a two-step, one-way nested configuration of models, from a global composition-climate model (GCCM) (140 km resolution) to a regional composition-climate model covering Europe (RCCM) (50 km resolution) and finally to a high (12 km) resolution model over the UK (AQUM). The latter model is used to produce routine air quality forecasts for the UK. All three models are based on the Met Office's Unified Model (MetUM). In order to better understand the impact of resolution on the downscaling of projections of future climate and air quality, we have used this nest of models to simulate a five year period using present-day emissions and under present-day climate conditions. We also consider the impact of running the higher resolution model with higher spatial resolution emissions, rather than simply regridding emissions from the RCCM. We present an evaluation of the models compared to in situ air quality observations over the UK, plus a comparison against an independent 1 km resolution gridded dataset, derived from a combination of modelling and observations. We show that using a high resolution model over the UK has some benefits in improving air quality modelling, but that the use of higher spatial resolution emissions is important to capture local variations in concentrations, particularly for primary pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide. For secondary pollutants such as ozone and the secondary component of PM10, the benefits of a higher resolution nested model are more limited and reasons for this are discussed. This study confirms that the resolution of models is not the only factor in determining model performance - consistency between nested models is also important.

Citation: Neal, L. S., Dalvi, M., Folberth, G., McInnes, R. N., Agnew, P., O'Connor, F. M., Savage, N. H., and Tilbee, M.: A description and evaluation of an air quality model nested within global and regional composition-climate models using MetUM, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., doi:10.5194/gmd-2017-73, in review, 2017.
Lucy S. Neal et al.
Lucy S. Neal et al.
Lucy S. Neal et al.

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Short summary
This paper concerns aspects of down-scaling global atmospheric composition and chemistry model predictions to the continental and UK national scale. A two-step nested model configuration was developed and used to simulate UK air quality for a 5-year period under present-day conditions. The results show some benefits associated with higher resolution modelling for primary emitted pollutants but also highlight the importance of consistency between the nested models.
This paper concerns aspects of down-scaling global atmospheric composition and chemistry model...
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