Modeling inter-continental transport of ozone in North America with CAMx for the Air Quality Model Evaluation International Initiative (AQMEII) Phase 3
Uarporn Nopmongcol, Zhen Liu, Till Stoeckenius, and Greg Yarwood
Ramboll Environ, 773 San Marin Dr., Suite 2115, Novato, CA 94945
Received: 02 Mar 2017 – Accepted for review: 06 Mar 2017 – Discussion started: 15 Mar 2017
Abstract. Inter-continental ozone (O3) transport extends the geographic range of O3 air pollution impacts and makes local air pollution management more difficult. Phase 3 of the Air Quality Modeling Evaluation International Initiative (AQMEII-3) is examining the contribution of inter-continental transport to regional air quality by applying regional scale atmospheric models jointly with global models. We investigate methods for tracing O3 from global models within regional models. The CAMx photochemical grid model was used to track contributions from boundary condition (BC) O3 over a North America modeling domain for calendar year 2010 using a built-in tracer module called RTCMC. RTCMC can track BC contributions using chemically reactive tracers and also using inert tracers in which deposition is the only sink for O3. Lack of O3 destruction chemistry in the inert tracer approach leads to over estimation biases that can exceed 10 ppb. The flexibility of RTCMC also allows tracking O3 contributions made by groups of vertical BC layers. The largest BC contributions to seasonal average daily maximum 8-hour averages (MDA8) of O3 over the US are found to be from the mid-troposphere with small contributions from the upper troposphere-lower stratosphere. Contributions from the lower troposphere are shown to not penetrate very far inland. Higher contributions in the Western than the Eastern US, reaching an average of 57 ppb in Denver for the 30 days with highest MDA8 O3 in 2010, present a significant challenge to air quality management approaches based solely on local or US-wide emission reductions. The substantial BC contribution to MDA8 O3 in the Intermountain West means regional models are particularly sensitive to any biases and errors in the BCs. A sensitivity simulation with reduced BC O3 in response to 20 % lower emissions in Asia found a near linear relationship between the BC O3 changes and surface O3 changes in the Western US in all seasons and across the US in fall and winter. However, the surface O3 decreases are small: below 1 ppb in spring and below 0.5 ppb in other seasons.
Nopmongcol, U., Liu, Z., Stoeckenius, T., and Yarwood, G.: Modeling inter-continental transport of ozone in North America with CAMx for the Air Quality Model Evaluation International Initiative (AQMEII) Phase 3, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2017-194, in review, 2017.