3D: KORUS-AQ Model Simulations

Several ACOM groups participated in the KORea-United States Air Quality (KORUS-AQ) community field project (funded by NASA) to study air quality issues in South Korea in May-June 2016.  Final data from observations made by ACOM scientists have been submitted to NASA archives and are now publicly available.  Model simulations are also being run by ACOM scientists using WRF-Chem, CAM-chem and CAM-chem/DART and are being used in the analysis of observations.  The comparisons of model results to observations (including in the data assimilation framework) are being used to improve emissions inventories.  The model simulations are also being used to identify measures that will improve air quality in Korea.

A Rapid Science Synthesis Report (RSSR) on preliminary KORUS-AQ findings was produced by the KORUS-AQ Science Team for the Korea Ministry of Environment and is guiding plans for future air quality regulations in Seoul (available at: https://espo.nasa.gov/home/korus-aq). One of these findings was that current emissions inventories used in a variety of regional and global models significantly underestimate the emissions of NOx and aromatic compounds (especially toluene), which are critical precursors of ozone and secondary aerosols.   Improving these inventories is a critical first step in understanding how air quality could be improved over Korea.  Another key component of the KORUS-AQ research is quantifying the transport of pollution from other regions (e.g., China) to Korea and the role it plays in Korea’s air quality.  The NCAR model simulations and analyses are addressing this question.

Figure 1. Several models using the same emissions show consistent underestimates of important ozone and particle precursors over Seoul.
Figure 1. Several models using the same emissions show consistent underestimates of important ozone and particle precursors over Seoul.