Articles | Volume 12, issue 16
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 7825–7865, 2012

Special issue: EMEP – an integrated system of models and observations...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 7825–7865, 2012

Research article 31 Aug 2012

Research article | 31 Aug 2012

The EMEP MSC-W chemical transport model – technical description

D. Simpson2,1, A. Benedictow1, H. Berge1, R. Bergström4,3, L. D. Emberson5, H. Fagerli1, C. R. Flechard6, G. D. Hayman7, M. Gauss1, J. E. Jonson1, M. E. Jenkin8, A. Nyíri1, C. Richter9, V. S. Semeena1, S. Tsyro1, J.-P. Tuovinen10, Á. Valdebenito1, and P. Wind1,11 D. Simpson et al.
  • 1EMEP MSC-W, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, Norway
  • 2Dept. Earth & Space Science, Chalmers Univ. Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 3Dept. Chemistry, Univ. of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 4Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden
  • 5Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York, York, England
  • 6INRA, Agrocampus Ouest, UMR 1069 SAS, Rennes, France
  • 7Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 8BB, UK
  • 8Atmospheric Chemistry Services, Okehampton, Devon EX20 1FB, UK
  • 9Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS) mbH, Cologne, Germany
  • 10Finnish Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 503, 00101 Helsinki, Finland
  • 11University of Tromsø, 9037 Tromsø, Norway

Abstract. The Meteorological Synthesizing Centre-West (MSC-W) of the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP) has been performing model calculations in support of the Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) for more than 30 years. The EMEP MSC-W chemical transport model is still one of the key tools within European air pollution policy assessments.

Traditionally, the model has covered all of Europe with a resolution of about 50 km × 50 km, and extending vertically from ground level to the tropopause (100 hPa). The model has changed extensively over the last ten years, however, with flexible processing of chemical schemes, meteorological inputs, and with nesting capability: the code is now applied on scales ranging from local (ca. 5 km grid size) to global (with 1 degree resolution). The model is used to simulate photo-oxidants and both inorganic and organic aerosols.

In 2008 the EMEP model was released for the first time as public domain code, along with all required input data for model runs for one year. The second release of the EMEP MSC-W model became available in mid 2011, and a new release is targeted for summer 2012. This publication is intended to document this third release of the EMEP MSC-W model. The model formulations are given, along with details of input data-sets which are used, and a brief background on some of the choices made in the formulation is presented. The model code itself is available at, along with the data required to run for a full year over Europe.

Final-revised paper