Headline: Technical note: AQMEII4 Activity 1: evaluation of wet and dry deposition schemes as an integral part of regional-scale air quality models

We present in this technical note the research protocol for phase 4 of the Air Quality Model Evaluation International Initiative (AQMEII4). This research initiative is divided into two activities, collectively having three goals: (i) to define the current state of the science with respect to representations of wet and especially dry deposition in regional models, (ii) to quantify the extent to which different dry deposition parameterizations influence retrospective air pollutant concentration and flux predictions, and (iii) to identify, through the use of a common set of detailed diagnostics, sensitivity simulations, model evaluation, and reduction of input uncertainty, the specific causes for the current range of these predictions. Activity 1 is dedicated to the diagnostic evaluation of wet and dry deposition processes in regional air quality models (described in this paper), and Activity 2 to the evaluation of dry deposition point models against ozone flux measurements at multiple towers with multiyear observations (to be described in future submissions as part of the special issue on AQMEII4). The scope of this paper is to present the scientific protocols for Activity 1, as well as to summarize the technical information associated with the different dry deposition approaches used by the participating research groups of AQMEII4. In addition to describing all common aspects and data used for this multi-model evaluation activity, most importantly, we present the strategy devised to allow a common process-level comparison of dry deposition obtained from models using sometimes very different dry deposition schemes. The strategy is based on adding detailed diagnostics to the algorithms used in the dry deposition modules of existing regional air quality models, in particular archiving diagnostics specific to land use–land cover (LULC) and creating standardized LULC categories to facilitate cross-comparison of LULC-specific dry deposition parameters and processes, as well as archiving effective conductance and effective flux as means for comparing the relative influence of different pathways towards the net or total dry deposition. This new approach, along with an analysis of precipitation and wet deposition fields, will provide an unprecedented process-oriented comparison of deposition in regional air quality models. Examples of how specific dry deposition schemes used in participating models have been reduced to the common set of comparable diagnostics defined for AQMEII4 are also presented.

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Galmarini, S., Makar, P., Clifton, O. E., Hogrefe, C., Bash, J. O., Bellasio, R., Bianconi, R., Bieser, J., Butler, T. M., Ducker, J., Flemming, J., Hodzic, A., Holmes, C. D., Kioutsioukis, I., Kranenburg, R., Lupascu, A., Perez-Camanyo, J. L., Pleim, J., Ryu, Y.-H., San Jose, R., Schwede, D., Silva, S., & Wolke, R. (2021). Technical note: AQMEII4 Activity 1: evaluation of wet and dry deposition schemes as an integral part of regional-scale air quality models. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 21(20), 15663-15697. doi:10.5194/acp-21-15663-2021.

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Air Quality Modelling for Policy Advice