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Our work explains why current model simulations are unable to capture the intercontinental influences of pollution plumes that are often observed over some regions like California. Due to inadequate vertical grid resolution in these models, the plumes get diffused too rapidly during intercontinental transport. Increasing the vertical grid resolution greatly improves the simulation of plumes and considerably increases the estimate of local surface pollution influence.
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ACP | Articles | Volume 18, issue 8
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 6039–6055, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-6039-2018
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 6039–6055, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-6039-2018

Research article 02 May 2018

Research article | 02 May 2018

The importance of vertical resolution in the free troposphere for modeling intercontinental plumes

Jiawei Zhuang et al.

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Andreae, M. O., Browell, E. V., Garstang, M., Gregory, G. L., Harriss, R. C., Hill, G. F., Jacob, D. J., Pereira, M. C., Sachse, G. W., Setzer, a. W., Dias, P. L. S., Talbot, R. W., Torres, A. L., and Wofsy, S. C.: Biomass-burning emissions and associated haze layers over Amazonia, J. Geophys. Res., 93, 1509–1527, https://doi.org/10.1029/JD093iD02p01509, 1988. 
Balaji, V.: Climate Computing: The State of Play, Comput. Sci. Eng., 17, 9–13, https://doi.org/10.1109/MCSE.2015.109, 2015. 
Bey, I., Jacob, D. J., Yantosca, R. M., Logan, J. A., Field, B. D., Fiore, A. M., Li, Q., Liu, H. Y., Mickley, L. J., and Schultz, M. G.: Global modeling of tropospheric chemistry with assimilated meteorology: Model description and evaluation, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 106, 23073–23095, 2001. 
Brasseur, G. P. and Jacob, D. J.: Modeling of Atmospheric Chemistry, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2017. 
Crawford, J. H., Heald, C. L., Fuelberg, H. E., Morse, D. M., Sachse, G. W., Emmons, L. K., Gille, J. C., Edward, D. P., Deeter, M. N., Chen, G., Olson, J. R., Connors, V. S., Kittaka, C., and Hamlin, A. J.: Relationship between measurements of pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT) and in situ observations of CO based on a large-scale feature sampled during TRACE-P, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 109, 1–10, https://doi.org/10.1029/2003JD004308, 2004. 
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Short summary
Our work explains why current model simulations are unable to capture the intercontinental influences of pollution plumes that are often observed over some regions like California. Due to inadequate vertical grid resolution in these models, the plumes get diffused too rapidly during intercontinental transport. Increasing the vertical grid resolution greatly improves the simulation of plumes and considerably increases the estimate of local surface pollution influence.
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