50 Sensitivity of high-resolution simulations over the Eastern Seaboard to surface process parameterizations

Monday, 3 August 2015
Back Bay Ballroom (Sheraton Boston )
Thomas Nehrkorn, AER, Lexington, MA; and M. Mountain, J. Hegarty, M. J. Iacono, Y. Barreira, P. L. DeCola, and S. C. Wofsy

We present results from multi-year high-resolution (down to 1 km) Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) simulations over the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. These simulations provide meteorological input fields to Lagrangian particle dispersion model computations of atmospheric transport and dispersion (ATD) of greenhouse gases (GHG) such as carbon dioxide and methane. Accurate modeling of the ATD is a key component of a modeling framework designed to validate and improve a priori estimates of GHG surface fluxes, using atmospheric observations of GHG concentrations from in-situ and remote-sensing instruments.

Of particular importance is the accurate representation of advection and turbulent mixing in the planetary boundary layer. We present the results of sensitivity studies with varying treatments of the planetary boundary layer (PBL), the effects of subgrid-scale topography on near-surface winds, and the effects of the urban environment on heat and momentum fluxes. In addition to the evaluation of WRF model results using atmospheric observations from the standard surface and upper air network, we consider non-traditional data sources. A novel aspect of the evaluation is the use of lidar backscatter data from a miniaturized version of a micropulse lidar (miniMPL) in the verification of model-simulated PBL height.

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