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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2017-1074
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
28 Nov 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
The influence of model spatial resolution on simulated ozone and fine particulate matter: implications for health impact assessments
Sara Fenech1,2, Ruth M. Doherty1, Clare Heaviside2, Sotiris Vardoulakis3, Helen L. Macintyre2, and Fiona M. O'Connor4 1School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh
2Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, Public Health England
3Institute of Occupational Medicine
4Met Office, Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK
Abstract. We examine the impact of model horizontal resolution on simulated surface ozone (O3) and particulate matter less than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) concentrations, and the associated health impacts over Europe, using the HadGEM3-UKCA chemistry-climate model to simulate pollutant concentrations over Europe at a global (~ 140 km) and a regional (~ 50 km) resolution. The attributable fraction (AF) of total mortality due to long-term exposure to warm season daily maximum 8-hour running mean (MDA8) O3 and annual-average PM2.5 concentrations is then calculated for each European country using pollutant concentrations simulated at each resolution. Our results highlight a strong seasonal variation in simulated O3 and PM2.5 differences between the two model resolutions in Europe. Compared to the regional resolution results, simulated European O3 concentrations at the global resolution are on average higher in winter and spring (10 % and 6 %, respectively). In contrast, simulated O3 concentrations at the global resolution are lower in summer and autumn (−1 % and −4 %, respectively). These differences may partly be explained by differences in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations simulated at the two resolutions. Compared to O3, we find the opposite seasonality in simulated PM2.5 differences between the two resolutions. In winter and spring, simulated PM2.5 concentrations are lower at the global compared to the regional resolution (−8 % and −27 %, respectively) but higher in summer and autumn (29 % and 8 %, respectively) and are mostly related to differences in convective rainfall between the two resolutions for all seasons. These differences between the two resolutions exhibit clear spatial patterns for both pollutants that vary by season, and exert a strong influence on country to country variations in estimated AF for the two resolutions. Warm season MDA8 O3 levels are higher in most of southern Europe, but lower in areas of northern and eastern Europe when simulated at the global resolution compared to the regional resolution. Annual-average PM2.5 concentrations are higher across most of northern and eastern Europe but lower over parts of southwest Europe at the global compared to the regional resolution. Across Europe, differences in the AF associated with long-term exposure to population-weighted MDA8 O3 range between −0.9 % and +2.6 % (largest positive differences in southern Europe) while differences in the AF associated with long-term exposure to population-weighted annual mean PM2.5 range from −4.7 % to +2.8 % (largest positive differences in eastern Europe) of the total mortality. Therefore this study, with its unique focus on Europe, demonstrates that health impact assessments calculated using modelled pollutant concentrations, are sensitive to a change in model resolution by up to ±5 % of the total mortality across Europe.

Citation: Fenech, S., Doherty, R. M., Heaviside, C., Vardoulakis, S., Macintyre, H. L., and O'Connor, F. M.: The influence of model spatial resolution on simulated ozone and fine particulate matter: implications for health impact assessments, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2017-1074, in review, 2017.
Sara Fenech et al.
Sara Fenech et al.
Sara Fenech et al.

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Short summary
The impact of model horizontal resolution on simulated surface ozone and particulate matter less than 2.5 μm concentrations, and the associated health impacts over Europe, using a global (~ 140 km) and a regional (~ 50 km) resolution is examined. Results highlight a strong seasonal variation in simulated O3 and PM2.5 differences between the two resolutions and demonstrate that health impact assessments are sensitive to a change in model resolution by up to ±5 % of the total mortality across Europe.
The impact of model horizontal resolution on simulated surface ozone and particulate matter less...
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