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Richard B. Rood, Dale J. Allen, Wayman E. Baker, David J. Lamich, and Jack A. Kaye

Abstract

Analysis of atmospheric data by assimilation of height and wind measurements into a general circulation model is routine in tropospheric analysis and numerical weather prediction. A stratospheric assimilation system has been developed at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. This unique system generates wind data that is consistent with the geopotential height (and temperature) field and the primitive equations in the general circulation model. These wind fields should offer a significant improvement over the geostrophic analysis normally used in the stratosphere.

This paper reports the first known calculations to use data from an assimilation to calculate constituent transport in the stratosphere. Nitric acid (NHO3) during the LIMS period is studied. While there are still significant discrepancies between the calculated and observed HNO3, there are some remarkable successes. Particularly, the high-latitude time variance of the HNO3 is accurately captured. These studies suggest that data from an assimilation process offers tremendous potential for studying stratospheric dynamics, constituent transport, and chemistry.

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Dale J. Allen, Anne R. Douglass, Richard B. Rood, and Paul D. Guthrie

Abstract

The application of van Leer's scheme, a monotonic, upstream-biased differencing scheme, to three-dimensional constituent transport calculations is shown. The major disadvantage of the scheme is shown to be a self-limiting diffusion. A major advantage of the scheme is shown to be its ability to maintain constituent correlations. The scheme is adapted for a spherical coordinate system with a hybrid sigma-pressure coordinate in the vertical. Special consideration is given to cross-polar flow. The vertical wind calculation is shown to be extremely sensitive to the method of calculating the divergence. This sensitivity implies that a vertical wind formulation consistent with the transport scheme is essential for accurate transport calculations. The computational savings of the time-splitting method used to solve this equation are shown. Finally, the capabilities of this scheme are illustrated by an ozone transport and chemistry model simulation.

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Christopher P. Loughner, Dale J. Allen, Da-Lin Zhang, Kenneth E. Pickering, Russell R. Dickerson, and Laura Landry

Abstract

Urban heat island (UHI) effects can strengthen heat waves and air pollution episodes. In this study, the dampening impact of urban trees on the UHI during an extreme heat wave in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland, metropolitan area is examined by incorporating trees, soil, and grass into the coupled Weather Research and Forecasting model and an urban canopy model (WRF-UCM). By parameterizing the effects of these natural surfaces alongside roadways and buildings, the modified WRF-UCM is used to investigate how urban trees, soil, and grass dampen the UHI. The modified model was run with 50% tree cover over urban roads and a 10% decrease in the width of urban streets to make space for soil and grass alongside the roads and buildings. Results show that, averaged over all urban areas, the added vegetation decreases surface air temperature in urban street canyons by 4.1 K and road-surface and building-wall temperatures by 15.4 and 8.9 K, respectively, as a result of tree shading and evapotranspiration. These temperature changes propagate downwind and alter the temperature gradient associated with the Chesapeake Bay breeze and, therefore, alter the strength of the bay breeze. The impact of building height on the UHI shows that decreasing commercial building heights by 8 m and residential building heights by 2.5 m results in up to 0.4-K higher daytime surface and near-surface air temperatures because of less building shading and up to 1.2-K lower nighttime temperatures because of less longwave radiative trapping in urban street canyons.

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Richard B. Rood, Jack A. Kaye, Anne R. Douglass, Dale J. Allen, Stephen Steenrod, and Edmund M. Larson

Abstract

A three-dimensional simulation of the evolution of HNO3 has been run for the winter of 1979. Winds and temperatures are taken from a stratospheric data assimilation analysis, and the chemistry is based on Limb Infrared Monitor of the Stratosphere (LIMS) observations. The model is compared to LIMS observations to investigate the problem of “missing” nitric acid chemistry in the winter hemisphere. Both the model and observations support the contention that a nitric acid source is needed outside of the polar vortex and north of the subtropics.

Observations show that nitric acid and potential vorticity are uncorrelated in middle latitudes outside the polar vortex. This suggests that HNO3 is not dynamically controlled in middle latitudes. The model shows that given the time scales of conventional chemistry, dynamical control is expected. Therefore, an error exists in the conventional chemistry or additional processes are needed to bring the model and data into agreement. Since the polar vortex is dynamically isolated from the middle latitudes, and since the highest HNO3 values are observed in October and November, a source associated solely with polar stratospheric clouds cannot explain the deficiencies in the chemistry. The role of heterogeneous processes on background aerosols is reviewed in light of these results.

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