Comparative analysis of meteorological performance of coupled chemistry-meteorology models in the context of AQMEII phase 2

Dominik Brunner*, Nicholas Savage, Oriol Jorba, Brian Eder, Lea Giordano, Alba Badia, Alessandra Balzarini, Rocío Baró, Roberto Bianconi, Charles Chemel, Gabriele Curci, Renate Forkel, Pedro Jiménez-Guerrero, Marcus Hirtl, Alma Hodzic, Luka Honzak, Ulas Im, Christoph Knote, Paul Makar, Astrid Manders-GrootErik van Meijgaard, Lucy Neal, Juan L. Pérez, Guido Pirovano, Roberto San Jose, Wolfram Schröder, Ranjeet S. Sokhi, Dimiter Syrakov, Alfreida Torian, Paolo Tuccella, Johannes Werhahn, Ralf Wolke, Khairunnisa Yahya, Rahela Zabkar, Yang Zhang, Christian Hogrefe, Stefano Galmarini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Air pollution simulations critically depend on the quality of the underlying meteorology. In phase 2 of the Air Quality Model Evaluation International Initiative (AQMEII-2), thirteen modeling groups from Europe and four groups from North America operating eight different regional coupled chemistry and meteorology models participated in a coordinated model evaluation exercise. Each group simulated the year 2010 for a domain covering either Europe or North America or both. Here were present an operational analysis of model performance with respect to key meteorological variables relevant for atmospheric chemistry processes and air quality. These parameters include temperature and wind speed at the surface and in the vertical profile, incoming solar radiation at the ground, precipitation, and planetary boundary layer heights. A similar analysis was performed during AQMEII phase 1 (Vautard et al., 2012) for offline air quality models not directly coupled to the meteorological model core as the model systems investigated here. Similar to phase 1, we found significant overpredictions of 10-m wind speeds by most models, more pronounced during night than during daytime. The seasonal evolution of temperature was well captured with monthly mean biases below 2 K over all domains. Solar incoming radiation, precipitation and PBL heights, on the other hand, showed significant spread between models and observations suggesting that major challenges still remain in the simulation of meteorological parameters relevant for air quality and for chemistry-climate interactions at the regional scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-498
Number of pages29
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • AQMEII phase 2
  • Meteorology
  • Model evaluation
  • Online-coupled meteorology-chemistry modeling


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