Articles | Volume 12, issue 5
Research article
05 Mar 2012
Research article |  | 05 Mar 2012

Error characterization of CO2 vertical mixing in the atmospheric transport model WRF-VPRM

R. Kretschmer, C. Gerbig, U. Karstens, and F.-T. Koch

Abstract. One of the dominant uncertainties in inverse estimates of regional CO2 surface-atmosphere fluxes is related to model errors in vertical transport within the planetary boundary layer (PBL). In this study we present the results from a synthetic experiment using the atmospheric model WRF-VPRM to realistically simulate transport of CO2 for large parts of the European continent at 10 km spatial resolution. To elucidate the impact of vertical mixing error on modeled CO2 mixing ratios we simulated a month during the growing season (August 2006) with different commonly used parameterizations of the PBL (Mellor-Yamada-Janjić (MYJ) and Yonsei-University (YSU) scheme). To isolate the effect of transport errors we prescribed the same CO2 surface fluxes for both simulations. Differences in simulated CO2 mixing ratios (model bias) were on the order of 3 ppm during daytime with larger values at night. We present a simple method to reduce this bias by 70–80% when the true height of the mixed layer is known.

Final-revised paper