Comparison of chemical lateral boundary conditions for air quality predictions over the contiguous United States during pollutant intrusion events.

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Date: Feb. 19, 2021
From: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics(Vol. 21, Issue 4)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 361 words

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Abstract :

The National Air Quality Forecast Capability (NAQFC) operated in the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides the operational forecast guidance for ozone and fine particulate matter with aerodynamic diameters less than 2.5 µm (PM.sub.2.5) over the contiguous 48 US states (CONUS) using the Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ) model. The existing NAQFC uses climatological chemical lateral boundary conditions (CLBCs), which cannot capture pollutant intrusion events originating outside of the model domain. In this study, we developed a model framework to use dynamic CLBCs from the Goddard Earth Observing System Model, version 5 (GEOS) to drive NAQFC. A mapping of the GEOS chemical species to CMAQ's CB05-AERO6 (Carbon Bond 5; version 6 of the aerosol module) species was developed. The utilization of the GEOS dynamic CLBCs in NAQFC showed the best overall performance in simulating the surface observations during the Saharan dust intrusion and Canadian wildfire events in summer 2015. The simulated PM.sub.2.5 was improved from 0.18 to 0.37, and the mean bias was reduced from -6.74 to -2.96 µg m.sup.-3 over CONUS. Although the effect of CLBCs on the PM.sub.2.5 correlation was mainly near the inflow boundary, its impact on the background concentrations reached further inside the domain. The CLBCs could affect background ozone concentrations through the inflows of ozone itself and its precursors, such as CO. It was further found that the aerosol optical thickness (AOT) from satellite retrievals correlated well with the column CO and elemental carbon from GEOS. The satellite-derived AOT CLBCs generally improved the model performance for the wildfire intrusion events during a summer 2018 case study and demonstrated how satellite observations of atmospheric composition could be used as an alternative method to capture the air quality effects of intrusions when the CLBCs of global models, such as GEOS CLBCs, are not available.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A652344429