Global modeling of tropospheric chemistry with assimilated meteorology: Model description and evaluation

Jacob, Daniel J.; Yantosca, Robert M.; Bey, Isabelle; Logan, Jennifer A.; Field, Brendan D.; Fiore, Arlene M.; Li, Qinbin; Liu, Honguy Y.; Mickley, Loretta J.; Schultz, Martin G.

We present a first description and evaluation of GEOS-CHEM, a global threedimensional (3-D) model of tropospheric chemistry driven by assimilated meteorological observations from the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) of the NASA Data Assimilation Office (DAO). The model is applied to a 1-year simulation of tropospheric ozone-NOx-hydrocarbon chemistry for 1994, and is evaluated with observations both for 1994 and for other years. It reproduces usually to within 10 ppb the concentrations of ozone observed from the worldwide ozonesonde data network. It simulates correctly the seasonal phases and amplitudes of ozone concentrations for different regions and altitudes, but tends to underestimate the seasonal amplitude at northern midlatitudes. Observed concentrations of NO and peroxyacetylnitrate (PAN) observed in aircraft campaigns are generally reproduced to within a factor of 2 and often much better. Concentrations of HNO3 in the remote troposphere are overestimated typically by a factor of 2–3, a common problem in global models that may reflect a combination of insufficient precipitation scavenging and gas-aerosol partitioning not resolved by the model. The model yields an atmospheric lifetime of methylchloroform (proxy for global OH) of 5.1 years, as compared to a best estimate from observations of 5.5 +/− 0.8 years, and simulates H2O2 concentrations observed from aircraft with significant regional disagreements but no global bias. The OH concentrations are ∼20% higher than in our previous global 3-D model which included an UV-absorbing aerosol. Concentrations of CO tend to be underestimated by the model, often by 10–30 ppb, which could reflect a combination of excessive OH (a 20% decrease in model OH could be accommodated by the methylchloroform constraint) and an underestimate of CO sources (particularly biogenic). The model underestimates observed acetone concentrations over the South Pacific in fall by a factor of 3; a missing source from the ocean may be implicated.


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Also Published In

Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Ocean and Climate Physics
American Geophysical Union
Published Here
November 23, 2015