Implementation and evaluation of updated photolysis rates in the EMEP MSC-W chemical transport model using Cloud-J v7.3e

Willem E. van Caspel*, David Simpson, Jan Eiof Jonson, Anna M. K. Benedictow, Yao Ge, Alcide Di Sarra, Giandomenico Pace, Massimo Vieno, Hannah L. Walker, Mathew R. Heal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The present work describes the implementation of the state of the art Cloud-J v7.3 photolysis rate calculation code in the EMEP MSC-W chemistry-transport model. Cloud-J calculates photolysis rates and accounts for cloud and aerosol optical properties at model run time, replacing the old system based on tabulated values. The performance of Cloud-J is evaluated against aerial photolysis rate observations made over the Pacific Ocean and against surface observations from three measurement sites in Europe. Numerical experiments are performed to investigate the sensitivity of the calculated photolysis rates to the spatial and temporal model resolution, input meteorology model, simulated ozone column, and cloud effect parameterization. These experiments indicate that the calculated photolysis rates are most sensitive to the choice of input meteorology model and cloud effect parameterization while also showing that surface ozone photolysis rates can vary by up to 20 % due to daily variations in total ozone column. Further analysis investigates the impact of Cloud-J on the oxidizing capacity of the troposphere, aerosol–photolysis interactions, and surface air quality predictions. Results find that the annual mean mass-weighted tropospheric hydroxyl concentration is increased by 26 %, while the photolytic impact of aerosols is mostly limited to large tropical biomass-burning regions. Overall, Cloud-J represents a major improvement over the tabulated system, leading to improved model performance for predicting carbon monoxide and daily maximum ozone surface concentrations.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbergmd-16-7433-2023
Pages (from-to)7433-7459
Number of pages27
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2023


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