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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-33
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-33
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Development and technical paper 14 Mar 2019

Development and technical paper | 14 Mar 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

Simulating Lightning NOX Production in CMAQv5.2: Evolution of Scientific Updates

Daiwen Kang1, Kenneth Pickering2, Dale Allen2, Kristen Foley1, David Wong1, Rohit Mathur1, and Shawn Roselle1 Daiwen Kang et al.
  • 1National Exposure Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
  • 2Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

Abstract. This work describes the lightning NOX (LNOX) production schemes in the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model. We first document the existing LNOX production scheme and associated LNOX vertical distribution algorithm. We then describe updates that were made to the scheme originally based on monthly National Lightning Detection Network (mNLDN) observations. The updated scheme uses hourly NLDN (hNLDN) observations. These NLDN-based schemes are good for retrospective model applications when historical lightning data are available. For applications when observed data are not available (i.e., air quality forecasts, future climate studies, and simulations focused outside the NLDN), we have developed a scheme that is based on linear and log-linear parameters derived from regression of multiyear historical NLDN (pNLDN) observations and meteorological model simulations. Preliminary assessment for total column LNOX production reveals that the mNLDN scheme overestimates LNOX by over 40 % during summer months compared with the updated hNLDN scheme that reflects the observed lightning activity more faithfully in time and space. The pNLDN performance varies with year, but it generally produced LNOX columns that are comparable to hNLDN and mNLDN, and in most cases, it outperformed mNLDN. Nevertheless, when no observed lightning data are available, pNLDN can provide reasonable estimates of LNOX emissions over time and space for this important natural NOX source that influences air quality regulations.

Daiwen Kang et al.
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Daiwen Kang et al.
Data sets

Simulating Lightning NOX Production in CMAQv5.2: Evolution of Scientific Updates D. Kang, K. Pickering, D. Allen, K. Foley, D. Wong, R. Mathur, and S. Roselle https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2590452

Model code and software

Comunity Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model US EPA https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1167892

Daiwen Kang et al.
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Latest update: 18 Mar 2019
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Short summary
Lightning strikes produce significant amount of nitrogen oxides and the resulting atmospheric chemistry causes one of the primary air pollutants, ground-level ozone, to change. In this paper, we documented the evolution of scientific updates for lightning-induced nitrogen oxides schemes in the CMAQ model. The updated observation-based scheme are good for retrospective applications, while the parameterized scheme can estimate lightning nitrogen oxides for applications without observations.
Lightning strikes produce significant amount of nitrogen oxides and the resulting atmospheric...
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