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Open AccessArticle

Comparison of PM2.5 Chemical Components over East Asia Simulated by the WRF-Chem and WRF/CMAQ Models: On the Models’ Prediction Inconsistency

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Department of Atmospheric Science, Kongju National University, Gongju 32588, Korea
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Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Pusan National University, Busan 46241, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
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Current affiliation: Applied Meteorology Research Division, National Institute of Meteorological Sciences, Jeju 63568, Korea
Atmosphere 2019, 10(10), 618; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10100618
Received: 20 September 2019 / Revised: 9 October 2019 / Accepted: 10 October 2019 / Published: 12 October 2019
High levels of atmospheric concentration of PM2.5 (particulate matters less than 2.5 μm in size) are one of the most urgent societal issues over the East Asian countries. Air quality models have been used as an essential tool to predict spatial and temporal distribution of the PM2.5 and to support relevant policy making. This study aims to investigate the performance of high-fidelity air quality models in simulating surface PM2.5 chemical composition over the East Asia region in terms of a prediction consistency, which is a prerequisite for accurate air quality forecasts and reliable policy decision. The WRF-Chem (Weather Research and Forecasting-Chemistry) and WRF/CMAQ (Weather Research and Forecasting/Community Multiscale Air Quality modeling system) models were selected and uniquely configured for a one-month simulation by controlling surface emissions and meteorological processes (model options) to investigate the prediction consistency focusing the analyses on the effects of meteorological and chemical processes. The results showed that the surface PM2.5 chemical components simulated by both the models had significant inconsistencies over East Asia ranging fractional differences of 53% ± 30% despite the differences in emissions and meteorological fields were minimal. The models’ large inconsistencies in the surface PM2.5 concentration were attributed to the significant differences in each model’s chemical responses to the meteorological variables, which were identified from the multiple linear regression analyses. Our findings suggest that the significant models’ prediction inconsistencies should be considered with a great caution in the PM2.5 forecasts and policy support over the East Asian region.
Keywords: air quality model; air quality forecast; CMAQ; East Asia; PM2.5; WRF-Chem air quality model; air quality forecast; CMAQ; East Asia; PM2.5; WRF-Chem
MDPI and ACS Style

Choi, M.-W.; Lee, J.-H.; Woo, J.-W.; Kim, C.-H.; Lee, S.-H. Comparison of PM2.5 Chemical Components over East Asia Simulated by the WRF-Chem and WRF/CMAQ Models: On the Models’ Prediction Inconsistency. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 618.

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