Abstract:Simulation of summertime U.S. surface ozone diurnal cycle is influenced by the model representation of planetary boundary layer (PBL) mixing, spatial resolution, and precursor emissions. These factors are investigated here for five major regions (Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, California, and Southwest) by using the Model for Ozone And Related chemical Tracers version 2.4 (MOZART-2.4), with important modifications, to conduct sensitivity experiments for summer 1999 with three PBL mixing schemes, two horizontal resolutions and two emissions datasets. Among these factors, the PBL mixing is dominant. The default non-local scheme well reproduces the observed ozone diurnal variation, where the timing for the afternoon maximum and the morning minimum is within 1 h of the observed; biases for the minimum are less than 5 ppb except over the Southeast; and the ozone maximum–minimum contrast (OMMC) is within 10 ppb of observations except for the overprediction by 18.9 ppb over the Northeast. In contrast, the local scheme significantly overestimates the OMMC by 10–34 ppb over all regions as ozone and precursors are trapped too close to the ground. On the other hand, the full-mixing assumption underestimates the OMMC by 0–25 ppb, except over the Northeast, as the nighttime ozone decline is greatly underpredicted. As compared to PBL mixing, the effects of horizontal resolutions and precursor emissions being used are smaller but non-negligible. Overall, with the non-local mixing scheme, relatively high horizontal resolution (∼1.1°) and updated emissions data, the modified MOZART is capable of simulating the main features of the observed ozone diurnal cycle.
This paper identifies improvements in representation of the boundary layer applicable to the Project's atmospheric model of China.