Global simulation of tropospheric chemistry at 12.5 km resolution: Performance and evaluation of the GEOS-Chem chemical module (v10-1) within the NASA GEOS Earth system model (GEOS-5 ESM)

Lu Hu*, Christoph A. Keller, Michael S. Long, Tomás Sherwen, Benjamin Auer, Arlindo Da Silva, Jon E. Nielsen, Steven Pawson, Matthew A. Thompson, Atanas L. Trayanov, Katherine R. Travis, Stuart K. Grange, Mat J. Evans, Daniel J. Jacob

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a full-year online global simulation of tropospheric chemistry (158 coupled species) at cubed-sphere c720 ( ∼ 12.5×12.5 km2) resolution in the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System Model version 5 Earth system model (GEOS-5 ESM) with GEOS-Chem as a chemical module (G5NR-chem). The GEOS-Chem module within GEOS uses the exact same code as the offline GEOS-Chem chemical transport model (CTM) developed by a large atmospheric chemistry research community. In this way, continual updates to the GEOS-Chem CTM by that community can be seamlessly passed on to the GEOS chemical module, which remains state of the science and referenceable to the latest version of GEOS-Chem. The 1-year G5NR-chem simulation was conducted to serve as the Nature Run for observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs) in support of the future geostationary satellite constellation for tropospheric chemistry. It required 31 wall-time days on 4707 compute cores with only 24 % of the time spent on the GEOS-Chem chemical module. Results from the GEOS-5 Nature Run with GEOS-Chem chemistry were shown to be consistent to the offline GEOS-Chem CTM and were further compared to global and regional observations. The simulation shows no significant global bias for tropospheric ozone relative to the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) satellite and is highly correlated with observations spatially and seasonally. It successfully captures the ozone vertical distributions measured by ozonesondes over different regions of the world, as well as observations for ozone and its precursors from the August-September 2013 Studies of Emissions, Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4RS) aircraft campaign over the southeast US. It systematically overestimates surface ozone concentrations by 10 ppbv at sites in the US and Europe, a problem currently being addressed by the GEOS-Chem CTM community and from which the GEOS ESM will benefit through the seamless update of the online code.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4603-4620
Number of pages18
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) 2018.


  • ESM
  • GEOSChem
  • naturerun
  • high resolution
  • global
  • CTM

Cite this