Updates to the Noah Land Surface Model in WRF-CMAQ to Improve Simulated Meteorology, Air Quality, and Deposition
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Updates to the Noah Land Surface Model in WRF-CMAQ to Improve Simulated Meteorology, Air Quality, and Deposition
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    Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 11(1), 231-256, 2019
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Updates to the Noah Land Surface Model in WRF-CMAQ to Improve Simulated Meteorology, Air Quality, and Deposition
  • Description:
    Regional, state, and local environmental regulatory agencies often use Eulerian models to investigate the potential impacts on pollutant deposition and air quality from changes in land use, anthropogenic and natural emissions, and climate. The Noah land surface model (LSM) in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is widely used with the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model for such investigations, but there are many inconsistencies that need to be changed so that they are consistent with dry deposition and emission processes. In this work, the Noah LSM in WRFv3.8.1 is improved in its linkage to CMAQv5.2 by adding important parameters to the WRF/Noah output, updating the WRF soil and vegetation reference tables that influence CMAQ wet and dry photochemical deposition processes, and decreasing WRF/Noah's top soil layer depth to be consistent with CMAQ processes (e.g., windblown dust and bidirectional ammonia exchange). The modified WRF/Noah-CMAQ system (both off-line and coupled) impacts meteorological predictions of 2-m temperature (T2; increases and decreases), 2-m mixing ratio (Q2; decreases), and 10-m wind speed (WSPD10; decreases) in the United States. These changes are mostly driven by leaf area index values and aerodynamic roughness lengths updated in the vegetation tables based on satellite data, with additional impacts from soil tables updated based on recent soil data. Improvements in the consistency in the treatment of land surface processes between CMAQ and WRF resulted in improvements in both estimated meteorological (e.g., T2, WSPD10, and latent heat fluxes) and chemical (e.g., ozone, sulfur dioxide, and windblown dust) model estimates. Plain Language Summary In this study we update a robust and well-established coupled meteorology-chemistry model, via the use of advanced treatments of land-atmosphere characteristics and processes, as well as improved linkages for a commonly used land surface model in weather, climate, and air quality applications. The updated model shows improved predictions of important weather and air quality parameters, such as temperature, wind speed, and ozone when compared to observations in the United States. Overall, the updated modeling system more firmly establishes the physical connections between the land and atmosphere to expand the model to a wider array of weather, climate, and air quality applications.
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