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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-608
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-608
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  18 Sep 2020

18 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Identifying forecast uncertainties for biogenic gases in the Po valley related to model configuration in EURAD-IM during PEGASOS 2012

Annika Vogel1,2,a and Hendrik Elbern1,2 Annika Vogel and Hendrik Elbern
  • 1Institute for Energy and Climate Research - Troposphere (IEK-8), Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany
  • 2Rhenish Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Cologne, Germany
  • anow at: Institute for Geophysics and Meteorology, University of Cologne, Germany

Abstract. Forecasts of biogenic trace gases in the planetary boundary layer (PBL) are highly affected by simulated emission- and transport processes. The Po region during the PEGASOS campaign in summer 2012 provides challenging, yet common conditions for simulating biogenic gases in the PBL. As a precursory step to a comprehensive model evaluation and uncertainty estimation, this study identifies and quantifies principal sources of forecasts uncertainties induced by various model configurations. The investigation is based on the EURAD-IM chemistry transport model employing the MEGAN 2.1 biogenic emission module and RACM-MIM as gas phase chemistry mechanism. Isoprene and a composite of higher aldehydes are selected to demonstrate similarities and differences between these compounds. Two major sources of forecast uncertainties are identified in this study. Firstly, biogenic emissions appear to be exceptionally sensitive to land surface properties inducing total variations of local concentrations of up to one order of magnitude. Moreover, these sensitivities are found to be highly similar for different gases and almost constant during the campaign, varying only diurnally. Secondly, the model configuration also highly influences regional flow patterns with significant effects on pollutant transport and mixing. As a result, surface concentrations of biogenic trace gases show large sensitivities to model configurations in this study. While isoprene concentrations are mainly sensitive to model configurations affecting the emission process, aldehydes show varying sensitivities related to both, biogenic emissions and transport processes. Especially in areas with small scale emission patterns, changes in the model configuration are able to induce significantly different local concentrations. This effect was corroborated by diverging source regions of an exemplary airmass and thus applies also to non biogenic gases. The amount and complexity of sensitivities found in this study demonstrate the need to consider forecast uncertainties of chemical transport models with special focus on biogenic emissions and pollutant transport.

Annika Vogel and Hendrik Elbern

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Annika Vogel and Hendrik Elbern

Annika Vogel and Hendrik Elbern

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Short summary
Forecasts of biogenic trace gases highly depend on the model setup and input fields. This study identifies sources of related forecast uncertainties for biogenic gases. Exceptionally high differences in both, biogenic emissions and pollutant transport in the Po valley are identified to be caused by the representation of the land surface and boundary layer dynamics. Consequently, changes in the model configuration are shown to induce significantly different local concentrations of biogenic gases.
Forecasts of biogenic trace gases highly depend on the model setup and input fields. This study...
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