Articles | Volume 8, issue 2
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 141–158, 2008
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 141–158, 2008

  15 Jan 2008

15 Jan 2008

Modeling the impact of sub-grid scale emission variability on upper-air concentration

S. Galmarini1, J.-F. Vinuesa1, and A. Martilli2 S. Galmarini et al.
  • 1European Commission – DG Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, 21020 Ispra, Italy
  • 2CIEMAT, Madrid, Spain

Abstract. The long standing issue of sub-grid emission heterogeneity and its influence to upper air concentration is addressed here and a subgrid model proposed. The founding concept of the approach is the assumption that average emission act as source terms of average concentration, emission fluctuations are source for the concentration variance. The model is based on the derivation of the sub-grid contribution of emission and the use of the concentration variance equation to transport it in the atmospheric boundary layer. The model has been implemented in an existing mesoscale model and the results compared with Large-Eddy Simulation data for ad-hoc simulation devised to test specifically the parametrization. The results show an excellent agreement of the models. For the first time a time evolving error bar reproducing the sub-grid scale heterogeneity of the emissions and the way in which it affects the concentration has been shown. The concentration variance is presented as an extra attribute to better define the mean concentrations in a Reynolds-average model. The model has applications from meso to global scale and that go beyond air quality.

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