Articles | Volume 10, issue 23
13 Dec 2010
 | 13 Dec 2010

Decadal regional air quality simulations over Europe in present climate: near surface ozone sensitivity to external meteorological forcing

E. Katragkou, P. Zanis, I. Tegoulias, D. Melas, I. Kioutsioukis, B. C. Krüger, P. Huszar, T. Halenka, and S. Rauscher

Abstract. Regional climate-air quality decadal simulations over Europe were carried out with the RegCM3/CAMx modeling system for the time slice 1991–2000, in order to study the impact of different meteorological forcing on surface ozone. The RegCM3 regional climate model was firstly constrained by the ERA40 reanalysis dataset which is considered as an experiment with perfect meteorological boundary conditions and then it was constrained by the global circulation model ECHAM5. A number of meteorological parameters were examined including the 500 mb geopotential height, solar radiation, temperature, cloud liquid water path, planetary boundary layer height and surface wind. The different RegCM meteorological forcing resulted in changes of near surface ozone over Europe ranging between ± 4 ppb for winter and summer. The area showing the greatest sensitivity in O3 during winter is central and southern Europe while in summer central north continental Europe. The different meteorological forcing impacts on the atmospheric circulation, which in turn affects cloudiness and solar radiation, temperature, wind patterns and the meteorology depended biogenic emissions. For comparison reasons, the impact of chemical boundary conditions on surface ozone was additionally examined with a series of sensitivity studies, indicating that surface ozone changes are comparable to those caused by the different meteorological forcing. These findings suggest that, when it comes to regional climate-air quality simulations, the selection of external meteorological forcing can be as important as the selection of adequate chemical lateral boundary conditions.

Final-revised paper