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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-2019-57
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-57
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model evaluation paper 15 Apr 2019

Submitted as: model evaluation paper | 15 Apr 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Multi-model simulations of springtime dust storms in East Asia: Implications of an evaluation of four commonly used air quality models (CMAQv5.2.1, CAMxv6.50, CHIMEREv2017r4, and WRF-Chem v3.9.1)

Siqi Ma1,2, Xuelei Zhang1,3, Chao Gao1,2, Daniel Q. Tong3, Aijun Xiu1, Guangjian Wu4,5, Xinyuan Cao1,2, Ling Huang6, Hongmei Zhao1, Shichun Zhang1,7, Sergio Ibarra-Espinosa1,8, Xin Wang9, Xiaolan Li10,11, and Mo Dan12 Siqi Ma et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
  • 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 3Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
  • 4Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • 5CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • 6School of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China
  • 7Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
  • 8Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
  • 9Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education, College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • 10Institute of Atmospheric Environment, China Meteorological Administration, Shenyang 110166, China
  • 11School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73072, USA
  • 12Beijing Municipal Institute of Labor Protection, Beijing 100054, China

Abstract. Mineral dust particles play an important role in the Earth system, imposing a variety of effects on air quality, climate, human health, and economy. Accurate forecasts of dust events are highly desirable to provide early-warning and inform decision-making. East Asia is one of the largest dust sources in the world. This study applies and evaluates four widely used regional air quality models to simulate dust storms in East Asia. Three dust schemes in the Weather Research and Forecast with Chemistry (WRF-Chem) (version 3.9.1), two schemes in CHIMERE (version 2017r4) and CMAQ (version 5.2), and one scheme in CAMx (version 6.50), were applied to a dust event during May 4th~6th, 2015 in Northeastern China. Most of these models were able to capture this dust event, except CAMx which has no dust source map covering the study area, hence is excluded from subsequent analysis. Although these models reproduced the spatial pattern of the dust plume, there were large discrepancies between predicted and observed PM10 concentrations in each model. In general, CHIMERE had relatively better performance among all simulations with default configurations. After parameter tuning, WRF-Chem with the AFWA scheme using seasonal dust source map from Ginoux et al. (2012) showed the best performance, followed by WRF-Chem with UOC_Shao2011 scheme, CHIMERE, and CMAQ. This study suggested that the dust source maps should be carefully selected or replaced with a new one constructed with local data. Moreover, further study and measurement on sandblasting efficiency of different soil types and locations should be conducted to improve the accuracy of estimated vertical dust flux in air quality models.

Siqi Ma et al.
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Siqi Ma et al.
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Latest update: 18 Oct 2019
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Short summary
Dust storms have thought to be a worldwide societal issue and numerical modeling is an effective way which can help to predict dust events. Here we present the first comprehensive evaluation of multi-model simulations of windblown dust emissions in East Asia. The results showed that most of these models were able to capture this dust event and indicated the dust source maps should be carefully selected or replaced with a new one constructed with local data.
Dust storms have thought to be a worldwide societal issue and numerical modeling is an effective...
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