Wild, Oliver and Prather, Michael J. (2006) Global tropospheric ozone modelling:quantifying errors due to grid resolution. Journal of Geophysical Research - Space Physics, 111 (D11). ISSN 0148-0227
Ozone production in global chemical models is dependent on model resolution because ozone chemistry is inherently nonlinear, the timescales for chemical production are short, and precursors are artificially distributed over the spatial scale of the model grid. In this study we examine the sensitivity of ozone, its precursors, and its production to resolution by running a global chemical transport model at four different resolutions between T21 (5.6° × 5.6°) and T106 (1.1° × 1.1°) and by quantifying the errors in regional and global budgets. The sensitivity to vertical mixing through the parameterization of boundary layer turbulence is also examined. We find less ozone production in the boundary layer at higher resolution, consistent with slower chemical production in polluted emission regions and greater export of precursors. Agreement with ozonesonde and aircraft measurements made during the NASA TRACE-P campaign over the western Pacific in spring 2001 is consistently better at higher resolution. We demonstrate that the numerical errors in transport processes on a given resolution converge geometrically for a tracer at successively higher resolutions. The convergence in ozone production on progressing from T21 to T42, T63, and T106 resolution is likewise monotonic but indicates that there are still large errors at 120 km scales, suggesting that T106 resolution is too coarse to resolve regional ozone production. Diagnosing the ozone production and precursor transport that follow a short pulse of emissions over east Asia in springtime allows us to quantify the impacts of resolution on both regional and global ozone. Production close to continental emission regions is overestimated by 27% at T21 resolution, by 13% at T42 resolution, and by 5% at T106 resolution. However, subsequent ozone production in the free troposphere is not greatly affected. We find that the export of short-lived precursors such as NO x by convection is overestimated at coarse resolution.
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