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A Framework for Evaluating Regional-Scale Numerical Photochemical Modeling Systems
DENNIS, R. L., T. FOX, M. FUENTES, A. GILLILAND, S. HANNA, C. Hogrefe, J. IRWIN, S. T. RAO, R. SCHEFFE, K. L. SCHERE, D. Steyn, AND A. Venkatram. A Framework for Evaluating Regional-Scale Numerical Photochemical Modeling Systems . ENVIRONMENTAL FLUID MECHANICS. Springer, New York, NY, 10(4):471-489, (2010).
The National Exposure Research Laboratory′s (NERL′s) Atmospheric Modeling and Analysis Division (AMAD) conducts research in support of EPA′s mission to protect human health and the environment. AMAD′s research program is engaged in developing and evaluating predictive atmospheric models on all spatial and temporal scales for forecasting the Nation′s air quality and for assessing changes in air quality and air pollutant exposures, as affected by changes in ecosystem management and regulatory decisions. AMAD is responsible for providing a sound scientific and technical basis for regulatory policies based on air quality models to improve ambient air quality. The models developed by AMAD are being used by EPA, NOAA, and the air pollution community in understanding and forecasting not only the magnitude of the air pollution problem, but also in developing emission control policies and regulations for air quality improvements.
This paper discusses the need for critically evaluating regional-scale (~ 200-2000 km) three dimensional numerical photochemical air quality modeling systems to establish a model's credibility in simulating the spatio-temporal features embedded in the observations. Because of limitations of currently used approaches for evaluating regional air quality models, a framework for model evaluation is introduced here for determining the suitability of a modeling system for a given application, distinguishing the performance between different models through confidence testing of model results, guiding model development, and analyzing the impacts of regulatory policy options. The framework identifies operational, diagnostic, dynamic, and probabilistic types of model evaluation. Operational evaluation techniques include statistical and graphical analyses aimed at determining whether model estimates are in agreement with the observations in an overall sense. Diagnostic evaluation focuses on process-oriented analyses to determine whether the individual processes and components of the model system are working correctly, both independently and in combination. Dynamic evaluation assesses the ability of the air quality model to simulate changes in air quality stemming from changes in source emissions and/or meteorology, the principal forces that drive the air quality model. Probabilistic evaluation attempts to assess the confidence that can be placed in model predictions using techniques such as ensemble modeling and Bayesian model averaging. The advantages of these types of model evaluation approaches are discussed in this paper.
URLs/Downloads:A Framework for Evaluating Regional-Scale Numerical Photochemical Modeling Systems (PDF,NA pp, 500 KB, about PDF)
Environmental Fluid Mechanics Exit
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY
ATMOSPHERIC MODELING AND ANALYSIS DIVISION