Leveraging Mechanism Simplicity and Strategic Averaging to Identify Signals from Highly Heterogeneous Spatial and Temporal Ozone Data

Friday, December 15, 2017 - 08:00
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We summarize two methods to aid in the identification of ozone signals from underlying spatially and temporally heterogeneous data in order to help research communities avoid the sometimes burdensome computational costs of high-resolution high-complexity models. The first method utilizes simplified chemical mechanisms (a Reduced Hydrocarbon Mechanism and a Superfast Mechanism) alongside a more complex mechanism (MOZART-4) within CESM CAM-Chem to extend the number of simulated meteorological years (or add additional members to an ensemble) for a given modeling problem. The Reduced Hydrocarbon mechanism is twice as fast, and the Superfast mechanism is three times faster than the MOZART-4 mechanism. We show that simplified chemical mechanisms are largely capable of simulating surface ozone across the globe as well as the more complex chemical mechanisms, and where they are not capable, a simple standardized anomaly emulation approach can correct for their inadequacies. The second method uses strategic averaging over both temporal and spatial scales to filter out the highly heterogeneous noise that underlies ozone observations and simulations. This method allows for a selection of temporal and spatial averaging scales that match a particular signal strength (between 0.5 and 5 ppbv), and enables the identification of regions where an ozone signal can rise above the ozone noise over a given region and a given period of time. In conjunction, these two methods can be used to “scale down” chemical mechanism complexity and quantitatively determine spatial and temporal scales that could enable research communities to utilize simplified representations of atmospheric chemistry and thereby maximize their productivity and efficiency given computational constraints. While this framework is here applied to ozone data, it could also be applied to a broad range of geospatial data sets (observed or modeled) that have spatial and temporal coverage.

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