Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2937
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2937
06 Feb 2024
 | 06 Feb 2024

Performance evaluation of UKESM1 for surface ozone across the pan-tropics

Flossie Brown, Gerd Folberth, Stephen Sitch, Paulo Artaxo, Marijn Bauters, Pascal Boeckx, Alexander W. Cheesman, Matteo Detto, Ninong Komala, Luciana Rizzo, Nestor Rojas, Ines dos Santos Vieira, Steven Turnock, Hans Verbeeck, and Alfonso Zambrano

Abstract. Surface ozone monitoring sites in the tropics are limited, despite the risk that surface ozone poses to human health, tropical forest, and crop productivity. Atmospheric chemistry models allow us to assess ozone exposure in unmonitored locations and evaluate the potential influence of changing policies and climate on air quality, human health, and ecosystem integrity. Here, we utilise in situ ozone measurements from ground-based stations in the pan-tropics to evaluate ozone from the UK Earth system model, UKESM1, with a focus on remote sites. The study includes ozone data from areas with limited previous data, notably Tropical South America, central Africa, and tropical North Australia. Evaluating UKESM1 against observations beginning in 1987 onwards, we show that UKESM1 is able to capture changes in surface ozone concentration at different temporal resolutions, albeit with a systematic high bias of 18.1 nmol mol-1 on average. We use the Diurnal Ozone Range (DOR) as a metric for evaluation and find that UKESM1 captures the observed DOR (mean bias of 2.7 nmol mol-1 and RMSE of 7.1 nmol mol-1) and the trend in DOR with location and season. Results from this study demonstrate the applicability of hourly output from UKESM1 for human and ecosystem health-based impact assessments, increase confidence in model projections, and highlight areas that would benefit from further observations. Indeed, hourly surface ozone data has been crucial to this study, and we encourage other modelling groups to include hourly surface ozone output as a default.

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Flossie Brown, Gerd Folberth, Stephen Sitch, Paulo Artaxo, Marijn Bauters, Pascal Boeckx, Alexander W. Cheesman, Matteo Detto, Ninong Komala, Luciana Rizzo, Nestor Rojas, Ines dos Santos Vieira, Steven Turnock, Hans Verbeeck, and Alfonso Zambrano

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2937', Anonymous Referee #1, 19 Feb 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2937', Anonymous Referee #2, 11 Mar 2024
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2937', Owen Cooper, 16 Mar 2024
Flossie Brown, Gerd Folberth, Stephen Sitch, Paulo Artaxo, Marijn Bauters, Pascal Boeckx, Alexander W. Cheesman, Matteo Detto, Ninong Komala, Luciana Rizzo, Nestor Rojas, Ines dos Santos Vieira, Steven Turnock, Hans Verbeeck, and Alfonso Zambrano

Data sets

Empirical data for: Performance evaluation of UKESM1 for surface ozone across the pan-tropics Flossie Brown https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10252770

Interactive computing environment

Python notebooks for: Performance evaluation of UKESM1 for surface ozone across the pan-tropics Flossie Brown https://github.com/flossie-brown/UKESM1_evaluation

Flossie Brown, Gerd Folberth, Stephen Sitch, Paulo Artaxo, Marijn Bauters, Pascal Boeckx, Alexander W. Cheesman, Matteo Detto, Ninong Komala, Luciana Rizzo, Nestor Rojas, Ines dos Santos Vieira, Steven Turnock, Hans Verbeeck, and Alfonso Zambrano

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Short summary
Ozone is a pollutant that is detrimental to human and plant health. Ozone monitoring sites in the tropics are limited, so models are often used to assess ozone exposure. We use measurements from the tropics to evaluate ozone from the UK Earth system model, UKESM1. UKESM1 is able to capture the behaviour of ozone in the tropics, except in Southeast Asia. Results demonstrate that UKESM1 can be used for health assessments and highlights areas that would benefit from further observations.