|Review of the revised version ‘Air Quality and Climate Change, Topic 3 of the Model Inter-Comparison Study for Asia Phase III (MICS-Asia III), Part I: overview and model evaluation’ by M. Gao et al.|
The paper has improved significantly as compared to the first version. Nevertheless, there are still some issues where the paper needs further improvement before it can finally be published. Although the majority of the reviewer comments are sufficiently addressed there are still some aspects which must be highlighted in more detail. Another deficiency of the paper is still the language quality of some (but not all) parts of the paper. Here, the authors with better knowledge of the English language as well as the native speaker are requested put some effort into improving those sections which are still not well written or a language editing service should be consulted.
Line 43: Differences among the simulated chemical composition of the aerosol are not solely due to different description of the chemistry.
Page 9 - 11: References are not complete please check (not only for these pages but everywhere). For example, references are missing for RADM2, RACM, MADE/SORGAM, AE6.
Line 201: This sentence sounds like this was done recently, which is not the case.
Line 257 – 258: And what about RADM2 and RACM-ESRL?
Section 2.2: As some of the models account for dust, a short paragraph on dust emissions should be added as well.
Line 377: Why was this averaging done?
Lines 462-463: Are the high values of the liquid water path simulated by M6 over Northern China really realistic? It looks like almost cloudless conditions are simulated by all the other models. What is the reason for these extremely high values of the LWP simulated by M6?
Line 463: Please explain the reason for the poor performance of M7?
Lines 518-544 and response to reviewer #2: Not all reviewer comments are addressed in the revised version and in the response. Still no proper explanation is given for high ozone concentrations simulated by M4 and M4. Also, it is not discussed whether this difference is related to the maximum values or whether the concentrations during nighttime are not well reproduced. Neither the revised text nor the response to the reviewer gives an answer to this question. The attempt of an explanation, i.e. larger vertical diffusion, which results in less titration of ozone by NO, cannot really explain the higher ozone concentrations since the NOx concentrations simulated by M3 and M4 are quite similar to the concentrations found for M1.
The authors might carefully check whether the implementation of RADM2 into NU-WRF is identical to the implementation of RADM2 with chem_opt=1 into WRF-Chem. If this is the case, then titration of ozone by NOx is underestimated for regions with high NOx (see Forkel et al., 2015, see Figure S1 and the Appendix of that paper). However, this explanation must not be adopted uncritically by the authors – it is only valid if NU-WRF uses the same solver for RADM2 as it is used for chem_opt=1 in WRF-Chem!
Line 647: The reference Zhao et al. (2015) is missing
Line 670: Compositions cannot be high. Please reword
Lines 693 – 698: Are these small differences in the correlation coefficient really relevant?
Lines 717 – 725: All the mentioned concentrations are near surface values whereas AOD reflects vertically integrated values. Please add some comment about this issue.
Lines 782 – 783: This is just a rather general statement. The role of deposition is not discussed in more detail earlier in the paper.
Table 1: 1) Does ‘Not available’ mean ‘not considered in the simulation’ or just ‘not supplied’? 2) What is the meaning of the blank spaces in the table (microphysics and surface physics for WRF-CMAQ)?
Caption of Figure 1: ‘M6’ and ‘M7’ is missing before RegCCMs and WRF-CMAQ, respectively.
Indicating the locations of those stations where results are shown in the paper or in the supplement in Figures 6 and 7 would be helpful.
Figure S9 (and related text): The absence of aerosol cloud interactions does not necessarily mean that no cloud water is simulated. So, why is the liquid water path not shown for M7?
Caption of Figure S10: According to the text of the paper, the curves show M2.
Response to reviewer #2: The explanations about wind-blown dust should also be included in the paper.
Final question: What is the status of the companion papers? Please add some more information (first author, journal).