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Atmospheric Science & Global Change

WRF-Chem: Interactions of the Aerosol, Cloud-Aerosol, and Cloud Life Cycles

WRF-Chem model
WRF-Chem models the emission, mixing, transport, transformation and fate of trace gases and aerosols to reveal interactions in the aerosol life cycle, cloud-aerosol interactions and the cloud life cycle.

WRF-Chem is a version of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model that simultaneously simulates the emission, turbulent mixing, transport, transformation, and fate of trace gases and aerosols. The WRF is a next generation meteorological model developed collaboratively among several agencies, i.e. the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

Researchers at PNNL have implemented the following improvements to WRF-Chem for the research community:

  • Integrated WRF-Chem simulations and a wide range of field campaign measurements to develop a better understanding of local and regional-scale evolution of particulates and aerosol radiative forcing that are sub-grid scale processes for global climate models
  • Using WRF-Chem’s modeling framework, they developed new aerosol process treatments for global climate models
  • Performed process studies investigating aerosol aging, aerosol-cloud interactions, and aerosol radiative forcing
  • Showed the feasibility of using a version of WRF-Chem as a regional climate model
  • PNNL provided laboratory investments to implement the trace gas and aerosol chemistry modules of the previous chemical transport model, PNNL Eulerian Gas and Aerosol Scalable Unified System (PEGASUS), into the WRF framework during 2004 and 2005. They incorporated aerosol-radiation-cloud feedback processes, cloud chemistry, and cloud-aerosol interactions into WRF-Chem during 2005 and 2006. By merging chemistry and aerosol process modules into the WRF framework, PNNL scientists were able to better understand the uncertainties associated with aerosol radiative forcing and the impact of aerosols on clouds. They distributed PNNL research among the scientific community to promote collaborative activities with other research groups. WRF-Chem is compatible with WRF version 3.5.1.

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