Evaluating trends and seasonality in modeled PM 2.5 concentrations using empirical mode decomposition

Luo, Huiying; Astitha, Marina; Hogrefe, Christian; Mathur, Rohit; Rao, S. Trivikrama

Regional-scale air quality models are being used for studying the sources, composition, transport, transformation, and deposition of fine particulate matter (PMinline-formula2.5). The availability of decadal air quality simulations provides a unique opportunity to explore sophisticated model evaluation techniques rather than relying solely on traditional operational evaluations. In this study, we propose a new approach for process-based model evaluation of speciated PMinline-formula2.5 using improved complete ensemble empirical mode decomposition with adaptive noise (improved CEEMDAN) to assess how well version 5.0.2 of the coupled Weather Research and Forecasting model–Community Multiscale Air Quality model (WRF-CMAQ) simulates the time-dependent long-term trend and cyclical variations in daily average PMinline-formula2.5 and its species, including sulfate (SOinline-formula4), nitrate (NOinline-formula3), ammonium (NHinline-formula4), chloride (Cl), organic carbon (OC), and elemental carbon (EC). The utility of the proposed approach for model evaluation is demonstrated using PMinline-formula2.5 data at three monitoring locations. At these locations, the model is generally more capable of simulating the rate of change in the long-term trend component than its absolute magnitude. Amplitudes of the sub-seasonal and annual cycles of total PMinline-formula2.5, SOinline-formula4, and OC are well reproduced. However, the time-dependent phase difference in the annual cycles for total PMinline-formula2.5, OC, and EC reveals a phase shift of up to half a year, indicating the need for proper temporal allocation of emissions and for updating the treatment of organic aerosols compared to the model version used for this set of simulations. Evaluation of sub-seasonal and interannual variations indicates that CMAQ is more capable of replicating the sub-seasonal cycles than interannual variations in magnitude and phase.

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Luo, Huiying / Astitha, Marina / Hogrefe, Christian / et al: Evaluating trends and seasonality in modeled PM2.5 concentrations using empirical mode decomposition. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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