Accurate simulations of air quality and climate require robust model parameterizations on regional and global scales. The Weather Research and Forecasting model with Chemistry version 3.4.1 has been coupled with physics packages from the Community Atmosphere Model version 5 (CAM5) (WRF-CAM5) to assess the robustness of the CAM5 physics package for regional modeling at higher grid resolutions than typical grid resolutions used in global modeling. In this two-part study, Part I describes the application and evaluation of WRF-CAM5 over East Asia at a horizontal resolution of 36-km for six years: 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2011. The simulations are evaluated comprehensively with a variety of datasets from surface networks, satellites, and aircraft. The results show that meteorology is relatively well simulated by WRF-CAM5. However, cloud variables are largely or moderately underpredicted, indicating uncertainties in the model treatments of dynamics, thermodynamics, and microphysics of clouds/ices as well as aerosol-cloud interactions. For chemical predictions, the tropospheric column abundances of CO, NO2, and O3 are well simulated, but those of SO2 and HCHO are moderately overpredicted, and the column HCHO/NO2 indicator is underpredicted. Large biases exist in the surface concentrations of CO, NOx, and PM10 due to uncertainties in the emissions as well as vertical mixing. The underpredictions of NO lead to insufficient O3 titration, thus O3 overpredictions. The model can generally reproduce the observed O3 and PM indicators. These indicators suggest to control NOx emissions throughout the year, and VOCs emissions in summer in big cities and in winter over North China Plain, North/South Korea, and Japan to reduce surface O3, and to control SO2, NH3, and NOx throughout the year to reduce inorganic surface PM.
He, J., Zhang, Y., Wang, K., Chen, Y., Leung, L. R., Fan, J., … He, K. (2017). Multi-year application of WRF-CAM5 over East Asia-Part I: Comprehensive evaluation and formation regimes of O3 and PM2.5. Atmospheric Environment, 165, 122–142. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2017.06.015