Implementation and evaluation of online gas-phase chemistry within a regional climate model (RegCM-CHEM4)
1Earth System Physics Group, International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy
2Egyptian Meteorological Authority (EMA), Cairo, Egypt
3Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), Copenhagen, Denmark
4Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
5Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Norway
6Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, USA
Abstract. The RegCM-CHEM4 is a new online climate-chemistry model based on the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) regional climate model (RegCM4). Tropospheric gas-phase chemistry is integrated into the climate model using the condensed version of the Carbon Bond Mechanism (CBM-Z; Zaveri and Peters, 1999) with a fast solver based on radical balances. We evaluate the model over continental Europe for two different time scales: (1) an event-based analysis of the ozone episode associated with the heat wave of August 2003 and (2) a climatological analysis of a six-year simulation (2000–2005). For the episode analysis, model simulations show good agreement with European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP) observations of hourly ozone over different regions in Europe and capture ozone concentrations during and after the summer 2003 heat wave event. For long-term climate simulations, the model captures the seasonal cycle of ozone concentrations with some over prediction of ozone concentrations in non-heat wave summers. Overall, the ozone and ozone precursor evaluation shows the feasibility of using RegCM-CHEM4 for decadal-length simulations of chemistry-climate interactions.