Description and evaluation of the Multiscale Online Nonhydrostatic AtmospheRe CHemistry model (NMMB-MONARCH) version 1.0: gas-phase chemistry at global scale

Alba Badia Moragas, Oriol Jorba, Apostolos Voulgarakis, Donald Dabdub, Carlos Pérez García-Pando, Andreas Hilboll, María Gonçalves, Zavisa Janjic

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This paper presents a comprehensive description and benchmark evaluation of the tropospheric gas-phase chemistry component of the Multiscale Online Nonhydrostatic AtmospheRe CHemistry model (NMMB-MONARCH), formerly known as NMMB/BSC-CTM, that can be run on both regional and global domains. Here, we provide an extensive evaluation of a global annual cycle simulation using a variety of background surface stations (EMEP, WDCGG and CASTNET), ozonesondes (WOUDC, CMD and SHADOZ), aircraft data (MOZAIC and several campaigns), and satellite observations (SCIAMACHY and MOPITT). We also include an extensive discussion of our results in comparison to other state-of-the-art models. We note that in this study, we omitted aerosol processes and some natural emissions (lightning and volcano emissions).

The model shows a realistic oxidative capacity across the globe. The seasonal cycle for CO is fairly well represented at different locations (correlations around 0.3–0.7 in surface concentrations), although concentrations are underestimated in spring and winter in the Northern Hemisphere, and are overestimated throughout the year at 800 and 500 hPa in the Southern Hemisphere.

Nitrogen species are well represented in almost all locations, particularly NO2 in Europe (root mean square error – RMSE – below 5 ppb). The modeled vertical distributions of NOx and HNO3 are in excellent agreement with the observed values and the spatial and seasonal trends of tropospheric NO2 columns correspond well to observations from SCIAMACHY, capturing the highly polluted areas and the biomass burning cycle throughout the year. Over Asia, the model underestimates NOx from March to August, probably due to an underestimation of NOx emissions in the region. Overall, the comparison of the modeled CO and NO2 with MOPITT and SCIAMACHY observations emphasizes the need for more accurate emission rates from anthropogenic and biomass burning sources (i.e., specification of temporal variability).

The resulting ozone (O3) burden (348 Tg) lies within the range of other state-of-the-art global atmospheric chemistry models. The model generally captures the spatial and seasonal trends of background surface O3 and its vertical distribution. However, the model tends to overestimate O3 throughout the troposphere in several stations. This may be attributed to an overestimation of CO concentration over the Southern Hemisphere leading to an excessive production of O3 or to the lack of specific chemistry (e.g., halogen chemistry, aerosol chemistry). Overall, O3 correlations range between 0.6 and 0.8 for daily mean values. The overall performance of the NMMB-MONARCH is comparable to that of other state-of-the-art global chemistry models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-638
Number of pages30
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2017

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