Tropospheric Ozone Assessment Report:Assessment of global-scale model performance for global and regional ozone distributions, variability, and trends

Young, Paul John and Naik, Vaishali and Fiore, Arlene M. and Gaudel, Audrey and Guo, Jean and Lin, M. Y. and Neu, Jessica and Parrish, David and Reider, H. E. and Schnell, J. L. and Tilmes, Simone and Wild, Oliver and Zhang, Lin and Brandt, J and Delcloo, A and Doherty, R. M. and Geels, C and Hegglin, Michaela and Hu, L and Im, U and Kumar, R and Luhar, A and Murray, Lee and Plummer, David and Rodriguez, J and Saiz-Lopez, Alfonso and Schultz, Martin G. and Woodhouse, M and Zeng, G. and Ziemke, J (2018) Tropospheric Ozone Assessment Report:Assessment of global-scale model performance for global and regional ozone distributions, variability, and trends. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, 6 (1). ISSN 2325-1026

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Abstract

The goal of the Tropospheric Ozone Assessment Report (TOAR) is to provide the research community with an up-to-date scientific assessment of tropospheric ozone, from the surface to the tropopause. While a suite of observations provides significant information on the spatial and temporal distribution of tropospheric ozone, observational gaps make it necessary to use global atmospheric chemistry models to synthesize our understanding of the processes and variables that control tropospheric ozone abundance and its variability. Models facilitate the interpretation of the observations and allow us to make projections of future tropospheric ozone and trace gas distributions for different anthropogenic or natural perturbations. This paper assesses the skill of current-generation global atmospheric chemistry models in simulating the observed present-day tropospheric ozone distribution, variability, and trends. Drawing upon the results of recent international multi-model intercomparisons and using a range of model evaluation techniques, we demonstrate that global chemistry models are broadly skillful in capturing the spatio-temporal variations of tropospheric ozone over the seasonal cycle, for extreme pollution episodes, and changes over interannual to decadal periods. However, models are consistently biased high in the northern hemisphere and biased low in the southern hemisphere, throughout the depth of the troposphere, and are unable to replicate particular metrics that define the longer term trends in tropospheric ozone as derived from some background sites. When the models compare unfavorably against observations, we discuss the potential causes of model biases and propose directions for future developments, including improved evaluations that may be able to better diagnose the root cause of the model-observation disparity. Overall, model results should be approached critically, including determining whether the model performance is acceptable for the problem being addressed, whether biases can be tolerated or corrected, whether the model is appropriately constituted, and whether there is a way to satisfactorily quantify the uncertainty.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene
Subjects:
ID Code:
88836
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
21 Nov 2017 20:01
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
24 Nov 2020 05:24