Model Inter-Comparison Study for Asia (MICS-Asia) phase III: Multimodel comparison of reactive nitrogen deposition over China

Baozhu Ge, Syuichi Itahashi, Keiichi Sato, Danhui Xu, Junhua Wang, Fan Fan, Qixin Tan, Joshua S. Fu, Xuemei Wang, Kazuyo Yamaji, Tatsuya Nagashima, Jie Li, Mizuo Kajino, Hong Liao, Meigen Zhang, Zhe Wang, Meng Li, Jung Hun Woo, Junichi Kurokawa, Yuepeng PanQizhong Wu, Xuejun Liu, Zifa Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Atmospheric nitrogen deposition in China has attracted public attention in recent years due to the increasing anthropogenic emission of reactive nitrogen (Nr) and its impacts on the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. However, limited long-term and multisite measurements have restrained the understanding of the mechanism of the Nr deposition and the chemical transport model (CTM) improvement. In this study, the performance of the simulated wet and dry deposition for different Nr species, i.e., particulate NO−3 and NH+4, gaseous NOx, HNO3 and NH3 have been conducted using the framework of Model Inter-Comparison Study for Asia (MICS-Asia) phase III. A total of nine models, including five Weather Research and Forecasting models coupled with the Community Multiscale Air Quality (WRF-CMAQ) models, two self-developed regional models, a global model and a Regional Atmospheric Modeling System coupled with the Community Multiscale Air Quality (RAMS-CMAQ) model have been selected for the comparison. For wet deposition, observation data from 83 measurement sites from the East Asia Acid Deposition Monitoring Network (EANET), Chinese Ecosystem Research Network (CERN), China Agricultural University Deposition Network (CAUDN), National Acid Deposition Monitoring Network (NADMN) and Department of Ecological Environment (DEE) of China have been collected and normalized for comparison with model results. In general, most models show the consistent spatial and temporal variation of both oxidized N (Nox) and reduced N (Nrd) wet deposition in China, with the normalized mean error (NME) at around 50 %, which is lower than the value of 70% based on EANET observation over Asia. Both the ratio of wet or dry deposition to the total inorganic N (TIN) deposition and the ratios of TIN to their emissions have shown consistent results with the Nationwide Nitrogen Deposition Monitoring Network (NNDMN) estimates. The performance of ensemble results (ENMs) was further assessed with satellite measurements. In different regions of China, the results show that the simulated Nox wet deposition was overestimated in northeastern China (NE) but underestimated in the south of China, namely southeastern (SE) and southwestern (SW) China, while the Nrd wet deposition was underestimated in all regions by all models. The deposition of Nox has larger uncertainties than the Nrd, especially in northern China (NC), indicating the chemical reaction process is one of the most important factors affecting the model performance. Compared to the critical load (CL) value, the Nr deposition in NC, SE and SW reached or exceeded reported CL values and resulted in serious ecological impacts. The control of Nrd in NC and SW and Nox in SE would be an effective mitigation measure for TIN deposition in these regions. The Nr deposition in the Tibetan Plateau (TP) with a high ratio of TI∕emission (3.0), indicates a significant transmission from outside. Efforts to reduce these transmissions ought to be paramount due the climatic importance of the Tibetan region to the sensitive ecosystems throughout China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10587-10610
Number of pages24
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sept 10 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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