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Coupling of Important Physical Processes in the Planetary Boundary Layer between Meteorological and Chemistry Models for Regional to Continental Scale Air Quality Forecasting: An Overview

Author(s): Pius Lee | Fong Ngan

Journal: Atmosphere
ISSN 2073-4433

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 464;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: planetary boundary | turbulent mixing | air surface exchange | dry deposition

A consensus among many Air Quality (AQ) modelers is that planetary boundary layer processes are the most influential processes for surface concentrations of air pollutants. Due to the many uncertainties intrinsically embedded in the parameterization of these processes, parameter optimization is often employed to determine an optimal set or range of values of the sensitive parameters. In this review study, we focus on the two of the most important physical processes: turbulent mixing and dry deposition. An emphasis was put on surveying AQ models that have been proven to resolve meso-scale features and cover a large geographical area, such as large regional, continental, or trans-continental boundary extents. Five AQ models were selected. Four of the models were run in real-time operational forecasting settings for continental scale AQ. The models use various forms of level 2.5 closure algorithms to calculate turbulent mixing. Tuning and parameter optimization has been used to tailor these algorithms to better suit their AQ models which are typically comprised of a coupled chemistry and meteorology model. Longer forecasts and long lead-times are inevitably under increasing demand for these models. Land Surface Models that have the capability for soil moisture and temperature data assimilation will have an advantage to constrain the key variables that govern the partitioning of surface sensible and latent heat fluxes and thus attain the potential to perform better in longer forecasts than those models that do not have this capability. Dry deposition velocity is a very significant model parameter that governs a major surface exchange activity. An exploratory study has been conducted to see the upper bound of roughness length in the similarity equation for aerodynamic resistance.
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