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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1346
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1346
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 11 Feb 2019

Submitted as: research article | 11 Feb 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) and is expected to appear here in due course.

MICS-Asia III: Multi-model comparison and evaluation of aerosol over East Asia

Lei Chen1,2, Yi Gao1, Meigen Zhang1,3,4, Joshua S. Fu5, Jia Zhu6, Hong Liao2,7, Jialin Li1, Kan Huang5, Baozhu Ge1, Xuemei Wang8, Yun Fat LAM9, Chuan Yao Lin10, Syuichi Itahashi11,12, Tatsuya Nagashima13, Mizuo Kajino14,15, Kazuyo Yamaji16, Zifa Wang1,3, and Jun-ichi Kurokawa17 Lei Chen et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 2School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 4Center for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen, China
  • 5Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
  • 6Research Institute of Climatic and Environmental Governance, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 7International Joint Laboratory on Climate and Environmental Change, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 8Institute for Environment and Climate Research, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China
  • 9School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 10Research Center for Environmental Changes, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
  • 11Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, Abiko, Chiba 270-1194, Japan
  • 12Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA
  • 13National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan
  • 14Meteorological Research Institute, Japan Meteorological Agency, Tsukuba, 305-0052, Japan
  • 15Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, 305-8577, Japan
  • 16School of Science and Engineering, Meisei University, Hino, Tokyo 191-8506, Japan
  • 17Asia Center for Air Pollution Research, 1182 Sowa, Nishi-ku, Niigata, Niigata, 950-2144, Japan

Abstract. Fourteen chemical transport models (CTMs) participate in the MICS–Asia Phase III Topic 1. Their simulation results are compared with each other and with an extensive set of measurements, aiming to evaluate the current multi–scale air quality models’ ability in simulating aerosol species and to document similarities and differences among model performances, also to reveal the characteristics of aerosol chemical components over big cities in East Asia. In general, all participant models can reproduce the spatial distribution and seasonal variability of aerosol concentrations in the year 2010, and multi–model ensemble mean (EM) shows better performance than most individual models, with Rs ranging from 0.65 (NO3) to 0.83 (PM2.5). Underestimations of BC (NMB = −17.0 %), SO42− (NMB = −19.1 %) and PM10 (NMB = −32.6 %) are simulated by EM, but positive biases are shown in NO3 (NMB = 4.9 %), NH4+ (NMB = 14.0 %) and PM2.5 (NMB = 4.4 %). Simulation results of BC, OC, SO42−, NO3 and NH4+ among CTMs are in good agreements, especially over polluted areas, such as the eastern China and the northern part of India. But large coefficients of variations (CV > 1.5) are also calculated over arid and semi–arid regions. This poor consistency among CTMs may attribute to their different processing capacities for dust aerosols. According to the simulation results in the six Asian cities from EM, different air–pollution control plans should be made due to their different major air pollutants in different seasons. Although a more considerable capacity for reproducing the concentrations of aerosol chemical compositions and their variation tendencies is shown in current CTMs by comparing statistics (e.g. RMSE and R) between MICS–Asia Phase II and Phase III, detailed process analysis and a fully understanding of the source–receptor relationship in each process may be helpful to explain and to reduce large diversities of simulated aerosol concentrations among CTMs, and these may be the potential development directions for future modeling studies in East Asia.

Lei Chen et al.
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AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Short summary
Simulated aerosol concentrations from 14 CTMs within the framework of MICS–Asia III are detailedly evaluated with an extensive set of measurements in East Asia. Similarities and differences among model performances are also analyzed. Although more considerable capacities for reproducing the aerosol concentrations and their variations are shown in current CTMs than those in MICS–Asia II, more efforts are needed to reduce diversities of simulated aerosol concentrations among air quality models.
Simulated aerosol concentrations from 14 CTMs within the framework of MICS–Asia III are...
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