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Work Plans for Model Inter-Comparison Study - Asia Phase III (MICS-Asia III)


Progress of MICS-Asia Phase I to Phase III
   In order to obtain common understanding of model performance and uncertainties in Asia, MICS-Asia Phase I (1998-2000) and Phase II (2004-2009) were carried out as international initiatives of model intercomparison study on long-range transport and deposition initially of sulfur in Phase I and then including nitrogen compounds, ozone and aerosols in Phase II. The findings of the Phase II activities were published in Atmospheric Environment in 2008, and the 10th MICS-Asia Workshop in February 2008 at IIASA started to discuss the prospect of Phase III.
   The initiative was succeeded to the First International Workshop on Atmospheric Modeling in East Asia organized by ACAP and IAP in Dalian in March 2010, which aimed to give an opportunity for more Asian scientists to participate in future international collaboration in atmospheric modeling and related atmospheric chemistry studies. At the Second Workshop on Atmospheric Modeling in East Asia in Sanya in December 2010, three topics of MICS-Asia Phase III were accepted and the leader of each topic was identified as follows.
            Topic 1: Model Intercomparison (Leader: Zifa Wang, IAP)
            Topic 2: Development of reliable emission inventories in Asia
                                    (Leader: Jung-Hun. Woo, Konkuk University)
            Topic 3: Air Quality/Climate Change (Leader: Greg Charmichael,                                                                Iowa University)
   At the Third Workshop on Atmospheric Modeling in East Asia in Chengdu in September 2011, all the participants had group discussion to materialize more concrete work plan for each of the three topics. Based on the discussion, the Leaders prepared the draft work plans for MICS-Asia Phase III, and it was further discussed at the International Workshop on MICS-Asia III in Beijing in July 2012 to finalize the Work Plans. 
  MICS-Asia Phase III is a part of EANET additional research activity as same as Phase II. Phase III activities will be financially and technically supported by IAP and ACAP through Joint International Center on Air Quality Modeling Studies (JICAM) between them.
Prospectus of Phase III
   Model intercomparison of Topic 1 is the continuing activity of MICS-Asia series. Based on the experience of Phase I and II, model intercomparison activities in Phase III have been proposed to be carried out using common meteorological fields, emission data, boundary conditions, etc. in order to allow the discussion of the cause of disagreement among participating models rather than just showing the variability of model output and uncertainties.
   As for the preparation of common emission data to be used in Topic 1, development of reliable emission inventories in Asia for 2008-2010 has been planned as Topic 2. In this activity, as compared to existing and widely used global and regional emission inventory database in Asia, more reliable country-specific data has been incorporated particularly for China, Japan and Korea. The database can be used not only in MICS-Asia Phase III activity, but in other atmospheric modeling studies in Asia.
   Intercomparison of model performance for air quality and climate change has been adopted as Topic 3 for the first time in MICS-Asia in Phase III. Concerns on air quality and climate interaction have recently been evolved not only in scientific interest but also in mitigation policy defining radiatively active air pollutants as short lived climate forcer or pollutant (SLCF or SLCP). Topic 3 will discuss on this theme giving more focus in Asia.


Objectives of Three Topics

  • (Topic 1)  To evaluate strengths and weaknesses of current multi-scale air quality models and provide techniques to reduce uncertainty in Asia
  • (Topic 2)  To develop a reliable anthropogenic emission inventories in Asia and understand uncertainty of bottom-up emission inventories in Asia
  • (Topic 3) To provide multi-model estimates of radiative forcing and sensitivity analysis of short-lived climate pollutants

Topic 1:  Model Intercomparison
Leaders: Z. Wang, K. Yamaji and J. Fu

1.1 Objective
Aims to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of current air quality models for air quality prediction, and provide techniques to reduce uncertainty and improve performance in Asia. We will seek to answer the following key questions, including:

  • Assessing the ability of models to reproduce pollutants concentrations under highly polluted conditions (e.g. Regional Haze);
  • Quantifying uncertainties of each process (emissions, chemical mechanisms, transportations and depositions) and model resolutions (horizontal and vertical) on air quality modeling. In particular, uncertainties in key boundary layer parameters, which have both direct and indirect impacts on modeling results through transporting meteorological fields and providing parameters in physical-chemical modules, respectively, need to be addressed;
  • Investigating the air quality responses to specific emissions perturbations in a common case.

1.2 Activities

1) Candidate model selections and model setting

  • Candidate models:

Global models: CHASER, GEOS-Chem, CACTUS, GEATM, MOZART, etc.
Regional models: CMAQ, CAMx, NAQPMS, RAQM2, WRF-Chem, etc.

  • Common domain:

  Global - Northeast & Southeast Asia - Megacities
First domain (D1:45 km mesh):
East Asia, including Northeast and Southeast Asia
Practical choice (10S-50N; 90E-150E)
Second domain (D2: 15 km mesh):
Northeast Asia covering Northeast and Southeast China, Korea, and
Third domain (D3: 9 km mesh)
Case study (Mandatory)
Target area: Beijing and surroundings.
Case study (Optional)
Selected cities within D2 (Tokyo, Seoul, PRD, etc.) may be analyzed by each modeler’s interest

  • Simulation period:

     First domain (D1)
Through year simulation
2010 is the initial choice followed by 2008 and 2009 calculation for seasonal variation and inter-annual variability of wet deposition (S/N ratio, nitrogenious species deposition, etc.) and atmospheric concentrations (O3, PM2.5, BC, etc.)
Second domain (D2)
Periods required for D3 simulation
Third domain (D3)
Case study (Mandatory):
Four episodes in 2010 (high O3, PM2.5, BC, and dust) in Beijing
About 10 days simulation for each episode.
The period will be specified later.
Case study (Optional):
Should be decided by modeler’s interest

2) To prepare inputs for all the participated models

  • Gridded emissions

  All models should use the same emission fields as following:
Anthropogenic emissions datasets:
Asian emissions from Topic 2 group
Global (other than Asian) emissions should be prepared by global modelers (EDGAR v.?)
Natural emissions datasets:
Biogenic emissions will be estimated by MEGAN 2009 with the use of WRF meteorological data provided from Topic 1 group (transfer MEGAN 2009 to IAP by Topic 2 group).
Biomass burning emissions based on GFED for 2008-2010 will be distributed by Topic 2 group
Volcano emissions will be prepared by Topic 2 group
Other natural emissions such as dust, sea-salt, soil and lightning NOx should be prepared within each model and their emission numbers should be reported to Topic 2 group.

  • Meteorological fields

  Participants should use the same meteorological model (WRF) which will be prepared by IAP to drive their air quality models. The participants who have to use other meteorological fields are requested to compare them with the reference meteorological fields.

  • Boundary conditions

  Information on global model output for boundary conditions of D1 during 2008 and 2010 will be provided by Prof. Carmichael.

  • Observational data

Beijing Olympic Games monitoring data in 2008;
Rudong Campaign monitoring data in 2010;
Lidar monitoring data in IAP;
Pollution concentration observed data in Beijing and surrounding area (24 sites) in 2009-2011 (By Prof. Yuesi Wang);
EANET data for 2008-2010;

3) To perform base year model simulation by all the participants and compare models to the best available observational data

  • Monthly mean 3-D concentrations of pollutants and radicals, and meteorology in base year simulations by all participating models with the same emission inventory and meteorological fields.
  • Hourly mean 3-D concentrations of pollutants and radicals, and meteorology in pollution case simulations
  • Comparing concentrations and meteorological parameters modeling results between all participating models with available observations.
  • Evaluating abilities of each participating models in Asia air quality modeling.

4) To perform model simulation for air quality responses in various areas to specific emission perturbations by all the participants: Source-receptor relationship and future projection

  • Comparison of source-receptor relationships based on model calculation with specified emission reduction

- Emission perturbation: 20% reduction of all anthropogenic emissions
- Source area: Northeast and southeast China (divided by 32N), Korea, Japan, other area within D1.
- Four seasons: January, April, July, and October in 2010

  • Comparison of future projection based on a common future emission scenario
  • Comparison of chemical mechanism, transportation and deposition.
  • Comparison of boundary layer process, horizontal and vertical model resolutions.
  • Evaluating the impact of uncertainties of the key process on model results by sensitivity analysis.

1.3 Deliverables
Under a common case submitted data includes:

  • Hourly mean 3-D concentrations of SO2, NOx, O3, NOy (or HNO3), PM2.5, PM10 (Compositions? If could be provided) and aerosol extinction (Time, lev, lat, lon);
  • Hourly mean vertical profile of aerosols at Lidar observation sites (NIES lidar network? If could be provided). (It is key to lifetime of pollutants);
  • Hourly mean budget analysis (transport, chemical production and loss, dry and wet depositions) at observation sites;
  • Hourly mean PBL height and vertical exchange coefficients at observation sites.

Under monthly simulations, submitted data includes:

  • Monthly mean 3-D concentrations of SO2, NO2, O3, PM2.5, and PM10.
  • Monthly mean 3-D concentrations of radicals (OH, HO2,)
  • Monthly mean chemical production and loss of pollutants, dry and wet depositions (dry deposition rates).

Details of deliverables should be further discussed and summarized by leaders of Topic 1.

Topic 2: Development of reliable emission inventories in Asia
Leaders: J. Woo, T. Ohara, and Q. Zhang

2.1 Objective
To evaluate strengths and weaknesses of current emission inventory and provide techniques to reduce uncertainty and improve performance in Asia.

    • Activities


1) To develop anthropogenic emission datasets for emissions inter-comparison study

  • Mosaic national emission inventories

- China (Q. Zhang and K. He): MEIC inventory
- Beijing (Z. Wang): For D3 simulation. Comparison between the total amount of Beijing 3km gridded data (Z. Wang) and MEIC inventory data (Q. Zhang) is necessary.
- Japan (T. Ohara and J. Kurokawa): JEI-DB(JATOP) (2005 JEI-DB with REAS growth factor to 2010. Only 2010 JEI-DB for road transport sector is available)
- Korea (J. Woo): CAPSS inventory for 2009 (mole-based speciation fraction), no monthly profile available
- India: SO2, BC, and OC from Z. Lu and D. Streets, other species from REAS
- All other regions (T. Ohara and J. Kurokawa): REAS

  • Future emissions (IIASA, Zig Klimont)

- Use growth factors from GAINS for 2030, which include projections from Chinese (Tsinghua and ERI) and Indian (TERI) groups. Baseline and control scenario need to be provided.
- Discussion will be made at the HTAP Meeting in October how to harmonize GAINS and MICS-Asia inventories.

  • Other anthropogenic emission categories

- Aircraft and shipping emissions (from EDGAR or other global database)

  • Develop a “preferred” emission data for air quality model inter-comparison study. Some alternative emission dataset can be examined for emission “scale up/down” type experiments (on request basis)

2) To develop natural emissions datasets for emissions inter-comparison study

  • Biomass burning emissions:

- Data Source/Resolution/Format: GFED V3.1/Monthly/0.5deg/ASCII, Year 2010 available
- Categories/sectors: deforestation, savanna, forest, agricultural, and peat fires.
- Pollutants: carbon (C), dry matter (DM), CO2, CO, CH4, H2, N2O, NOx, non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), OC, BC, PM2.5, total particulate matter (TPM), and SO2.

  • Biogenic emissions:

- MEGAN (Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature)
- Meteorological modeling data should be provided from modeling working groups (Topic 1) for biogenic (transfer MEGAN 2009 to IAP could be an alternative option – Prof. J. Woo need to discuss with Dr. Z. Wang) and biomass burning emissions.

  • Volcano emissions:

- Data will be prepared by Dr. Ohara.

3) To provide modeling emission inventories to the air quality modelers

  • For anthropogenic emissions, gridded data with monthly variation will be provided by MEIC emission processing system (Prof. Zhang).
  • Model-ready emissions (netCDF format or ASCII Text?) for biogenic and open biomass burning (Prof. Woo)

4) To investigate discrepancies between bottom-up and top-down emission inventories
No specific plan at this time.

    • Deliverables


  • Spatial domain:

Asia (INTEX-B EI + Asian region of Russia + Central Asia (Kaz etc.))

  • Year:

2008, 2010, and 2030

  • Spatial and temporal aspects:

1) 1st level admin unitsnd annual/monthly emissions for inventory researchers
2) Gridded, model-ready emissions r modeling working group
Spatial resolution:
0.25 x 0.25 degree for anthropogenic emissions
0.5x0.5 degree for biomass burning emissions
?x? degree for biogenic emissions
Temporal resolution:
3) Projections: Lat/lon (Conversion to model map projections should be done by each modeler.)
4) AQ modelers need to decide 3D structure of emissions (i.e. injection height of some emissions, such as LPSs and/or biomass burning) by themselves. Some guidelines or suggestions will be provided from emissions group to decide emission injection heights.

  • Categories/sectors:

Anthropogenic (Industry, Power generation, Domestic, Transportation, and etc), Biogenic, Biomass, Volcano

  • Pollutants:

1) SO2, NOx, CO, NMVOC, NH3, BC, OC, PM2.5, PM10, CO2
2) CH4 and N2O from REAS can be used only for 2008. Otherwise will use EDGAR.

  • Speciation: CB05 and SAPRC99 for NVMOC
  • Delivery date: Summer 2012 for data in the years 2008 and 2010

Topic 3:  Air Quality/Climate Change
Leaders: Greg Carmichael, ZW Han, Yafang Chen

3.1 Objective

  • Sharing of best practices in AQ/CC modeling in Asia (leads to improved capacities and predictions).
  • Evaluation of strengths and weaknesses of current AQ/CC models (leads to improvements in AQ models and predictions).
  • Ensemble estimates of AQ/CC quantities (concentrations, deposition, AOD) (leads to improved (reduced uncertainty) estimates of impacts)
  • Carry out interesting science
  • Policy relevant analysis (scenarios)

3.2 Activities
Candidate models:
- Online-coupled models (global/regional): WRF-Chem, WRF-CMAQ, RegCCMS, ECHAM, AM2, NCAR and other models participating in this topic.
- Offline models (global/regional): CHASER, GEOS-Chem, CACUTS, GEATM, MOZART, CMAQ, CAMx, NAQPMS, RAQM2, and other models participation in Topic 1.
Domain settings (coordinate with Topic 1):
- Common domain settings as in Topic 1
- Even higher resolution for cloud resolving simulation, down to 1-2km?

1) To provide multi-model estimates of SLCF distributions & deposition for use in health, ecosystem & climate studies for base case and selected emission scenarios
Specific tasks –

    • Multi-model estimates for MICS framework of aerosols (BC, sulfate, OC, dust, nitrate) and ozone by sector
    • For base periods in 2008, 2010 + scenarios focused on SLCF agents & AQ+CC policy
    • With and without data assimilation  (OI, GSI, EnKF, etc.) using AOD
    • Online-coupled models can provide on-line calculation of aerosol optical properties and radiative forcing, as well as coupled feedbacks to the climate/weather system.
    • Offline models can provide simulation of aerosol and ozone fields and then be used to calculate aerosol optical properties and radiative forcing by common radiative transfer model. Also, they may participate in studying how the changing meteorology fields feedback to the air quality. (Do we need future scenario /projection of climate and weather?)

2) To provide multi-model estimates of radiative forcing (direct + other elements) and regional responses for base case and selected emission scenarios.
Specific tasks –

    • Multi-model estimates of DRF at surface, atmosphere and top of atmosphere due to anthropogenic SLCFAs by sector
    • Multi-model estimates of meteorological feedbacks caused by SLCFAs, including changes in 2 m temperature, winds, mixing layer heights, and precipitation
    • Base + scenarios focused on SLCF agents & AQ+CC policy
    • The selected emission scenarios might be different from air quality perspective. We will also exam emission reduction scenario regarding the climate change perspective. For example, the best reduction ratio between SO2 and BC, to reduce which emission sector or specific emission source will benefit the global / regional climate / weather the most. Combined with air quality emission reduction scenario to explore the two-wind strategy for Asia region (adjoin model/method to support this study?).

3) To provide analysis of the sensitivity of estimates to key processes/inputs.
Specific tasks –

    • Conduct sensitivity analysis of the impacts of model resolution, emissions, optical properties on the results in tasks a & b.
    • Conduct sensitivity analysis of the impacts of model chemical or physical mechanism on the results in task 1) & 2), for example, deposition, convection, cumulus scheme, aerosol microphysics?
    • Deliverables
    • Multimodel estimates of surface concentration, column amounts and deposition of SLCFAs
    • Multimodel estimates of AOD
    • Multimodel estimates of DRF by sector of SLCFAs
    • Multimodel estimates of meteorological responses due to SLCFAs
    • For base and future emission scenarios
    • Analysis of sensitivities of these model settings and inputs
    • Estimates of health and agricultural impacts of SLCFAs based on these multimodel estimates
    • Examination of the monsoon and ice/glacial changes due to SLFSAs?

Details of deliverables should be further discussed and summarized by leaders of Topic 3.




      • Harmonize MICS-III plans – August 2012
      • Announce study at IGAC – September 2012
      • Start multimodel simulations – October, 2012
      • First estimates of concentrations, column, AOD and DRF submitted by the end(?) of January, 2013
      • 4th Workshop on Atmospheric Modeling in East Asia at Kunming China, before or after the HTAP Meeting in February

Other detailed decisions of the MICS-Asia III Meeting in July

  • IAP-ACAP Joint Center (JICAM: Joint International Center on Air Quality Modeling Studies) Support:

- Two Staff (data analysis technician, secretary)
- Web Site (FTP site) to exchange the data (August 15, 2012)
- Super-computer (25 TFLOPS), 192T
- Technical management: IAP
- Administrative management: ACAP

  • Prof. G. Carmichael, Prof. J. Fu, Dr. M. Zhang, and Dr. Z. Wang (and Dr. K. Yamaji, if possible) will participate the WRF comparisons to decied best WRF configuration. Initiative of this activity will be taken by Dr. Z. Wang and final decision will be also made by Dr. Z. Wang.
  • WRF fields in 2010 (whole year) will be provided to participants (by IGAC Conference, middle of September).
  • Priority of model calculations are followings:

1. Simulations for D1 in 2010 (whole year)
2. Case studies for four episodes for Beijing area
3. Sourcec-receptor calculations
Deadline of data submission is January 1.

  • Following topics are to be considered:

- Data submission rule
- Documentation of MIX for MICS emission inventory (An overview paper will be prepard.)
- Observational data availability
- IGAC Conference MICS-Asia III Session