Articles | Volume 4, issue 6
17 Dec 2007
17 Dec 2007

Atmospheric CO2 modeling at the regional scale: an intercomparison of 5 meso-scale atmospheric models

C. Sarrat, J. Noilhan, A. J. Dolman, C. Gerbig, R. Ahmadov, L. F. Tolk, A. G. C. A. Meesters, R. W. A. Hutjes, H. W. Ter Maat, G. Pérez-Landa, and S. Donier

Abstract. Atmospheric CO2 modeling in interaction with the surface fluxes, at the regional scale is developed within the frame of the European project CarboEurope-IP and its Regional Experiment component. In this context, five meso-scale meteorological models at 2 km resolution participate in an intercomparison exercise. Using a common experimental protocol that imposes a large number of rules, two days of the CarboEurope Regional Experiment Strategy (CERES) campaign are simulated. A systematic evaluation of the models is done in confrontation with the observations, using statistical tools and direct comparisons. Thus, temperature and relative humidity at 2 m, wind direction, surface energy and CO2 fluxes, vertical profiles of potential temperature as well as in-situ CO2 concentrations comparisons between observations and simulations are examined. These comparisons reveal a cold bias in the simulated temperature at 2 m, the latent heat flux is often underestimated. Nevertheless, the CO2 concentrations heterogeneities are well captured by most of the models.

This intercomparison exercise shows also the models ability to represent the meteorology and carbon cycling at the synoptic and regional scale in the boundary layer, but also points out some of the major shortcomings of the models.

Final-revised paper