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Description and Evaluation of Tropospheric Chemistry and Aerosols in the Community Earth System Model (Cesm1.2) : Volume 7, Issue 6 (12/12/2014)

By Tilmes, S.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004009804
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 66
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Description and Evaluation of Tropospheric Chemistry and Aerosols in the Community Earth System Model (Cesm1.2) : Volume 7, Issue 6 (12/12/2014)  
Author: Tilmes, S.
Volume: Vol. 7, Issue 6
Language: English
Subject: Science, Geoscientific, Model
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Kinnison, D. E., Liu, X., Emmons, L. K., Moore, F., Vitt, F., Ryerson, T.,...Lamarque, J. (2014). Description and Evaluation of Tropospheric Chemistry and Aerosols in the Community Earth System Model (Cesm1.2) : Volume 7, Issue 6 (12/12/2014). Retrieved from

Description: National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA. The Community Atmosphere Model (CAM), version 5, is now coupled to extensive tropospheric and stratospheric chemistry, called CAM5-chem, and is available in addition to CAM4-chem in the Community Earth System Model (CESM) version 1.2. Both configurations are well suited as tools for atmospheric-chemistry modeling studies in the troposphere and lower stratosphere, whether with internally derived free running (FR) meteorology, or specified dynamics (SD). The main focus of this paper is to compare the performance of these configurations against observations from surface, aircraft, and satellite, as well as understand the origin of the identified differences. We particularly focus on comparing present-day methane lifetime estimates within the different model configurations, which range between 7.8 years in the SD configuration of CAM5-chem and 8.8 years in the FR configuration of CAM4-chem. We find that tropospheric surface area density is an important factor in controlling the burden of the hydroxyl radical (OH), which causes differences in tropical methane lifetime of about half a year between CAM4-chem and CAM5-chem. In addition, different distributions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) produced from lightning production explain about half of the difference between SD and FR model versions in both CAM4-chem and CAM5-chem. Remaining differences in the tropical OH burden are due to enhanced tropical ozone burden in SD configurations compared to the FR versions, which are not only caused by differences in chemical production or loss, but also by transport and mixing. For future studies, we recommend the use of CAM5-chem, due to improved aerosol description and inclusion of aerosol-cloud interactions. However, smaller tropospheric surface area density in the current version of CAM5-chem compared to CAM4-chem results in larger oxidizing capacity in the troposphere and therefore a shorter methane lifetime.

Description and evaluation of tropospheric chemistry and aerosols in the Community Earth System Model (CESM1.2)

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