Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 7, 6767-6801, 2007
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Lightning and convection parameterisations – uncertainties in global modelling
H. Tost, P. Jöckel, and J. Lelieveld
Atmospheric Chemistry Department, Max-Planck Institute for Chemistry, P.O. Box 3060, 55020 Mainz, Germany

Abstract. The simulation of convection, lightning and subsequent NOx emissions with global atmospheric chemistry models is associated with large uncertainties since these processes are heavily parameterised. Each parameterisation by itself has deficiencies while the combination substantially increases the uncertainties from the individual parameterisations. In this study several combinations of state-of-the-art convection and lightning parameterisations are used in model simulations with the global atmospheric chemistry model ECHAM5/MESSy and are evaluated against lightning observations. A wide range in the spatial and temporal variability of the simulated flash densities is found, attributed to both types of parameterisations. Some combinations perform well, whereas others are hardly applicable. In addition to resolution dependent rescaling parameters, each combination of lightning and convection schemes requires individual scaling to reproduce the observed flash frequencies. The resulting NOx profiles are inter-compared, but definite conclusions about the most realistic profiles can currently not be provided.

Citation: Tost, H., Jöckel, P., and Lelieveld, J.: Lightning and convection parameterisations – uncertainties in global modelling, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 7, 6767-6801, doi:10.5194/acpd-7-6767-2007, 2007.
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