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Development and Initial Application of The Global-through-urban Weather Research and Forecasting Model With Chemistry (gu-wrf/chem)


A unified model framework with online-coupled meteorology and chemistry and consistent model treatments across spatial scales is required to realistically simulate chemistry-aerosol-cloud-radiation-precipitation-climate interactions. In this work, a global-through-urban WRF/Chem model (i.e., GU-WRF/Chem) has been developed to provide such a unified model framework to simulate these important interactions across a wide range of spatial scales while reducing uncertainties from the use of offline-coupled model systems with inconsistent model treatments. Evaluation against available observations shows that GU-WRF/Chem is capable of reproducing observations with comparable or superior fidelity than existing mesoscale models. The net effect of atmospheric aerosols is to decrease shortwave and longwave radiation, NO2photolysis rate, near-surface temperature, wind speed at 10-m, planetary boundary layer height, and precipitation as well as to increase relative humidity at 2-m, aerosol optical depths, column cloud condensation nuclei, cloud optical thickness, and cloud droplet number concentrations at all scales. As expected, such feedbacks also change the abundance and lifetimes of chemical species through changing radiation, atmospheric stability, and the rates of many meteorologically-dependent chemical and microphysical processes. The use of higher resolutions in progressively nested domains from the global to local scale notably improves the model performance of some model predictions (especially for chemical predictions) and also captures spatial variability of aerosol feedbacks that cannot be simulated at a coarser grid resolution. Simulated aerosol, radiation, and cloud properties exhibit small-to-high sensitivity to various nucleation and aerosol activation parameterizations. Representing one of the few unified global-through-urban models, GU-WRF/Chem can be applied to simulate air quality and its interactions with meteorology and climate and to quantify the impact of global change on urban/regional air quality across various spatial scales.

Article / Publication Data
Available Metadata
Accepted On
August 27, 2012
Fiscal Year
Publication Name
Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Published On
October 01, 2012
Final Online Publication On
October 01, 2012
Publisher Name
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Print Volume
Print Number
Page Range
Submitted On
April 19, 2012


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Authors who have authored or contributed to this publication.

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