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Atmospheric Modeling

Section in the Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University

Danish name Atmosfærisk modellering
Head of section Ole Hertel
Section employees See list
Physical location AU Roskilde
Research keywords Air pollution, atmospheric dispersion modeling, chemical transport models, decision support systems, environmental impact assessments, integrated model systems, OML, OSPM, DEHM, DREAM, THOR, EVA, AIRGIS.
Links The department maintains a comprehensive set of web pages on air pollution. In particular, there is a subset on air pollution models.

Section research areas

Research conducted in the section for Atmospheric Modelling (ATMO) is focused on the fundamental processes involved in atmospheric transport and chemical transformation of air pollution. The section develops and applies local to hemispheric scale air pollution models that integrate with environmental and health impacts, economic considerations and climate change. 

Model developments and applications

The section develops and applies atmospheric models at all scales from urban streets, local and regional scales to the Northern Hemisphere, as well as integrated model systems, coupling atmospheric models with models for human health and environmental impacts, economic valuation, and climate change. This is carried out in a highly interdisciplinary environment with researchers from other fields, by coupling atmospheric models with effect models and models for the corresponding economic valuation. Furthermore, the section provides support for decision-makers in the form of impacts analyses for specific emission sources, such as the agricultural sector, industry, traffic, transport of air pollution to the Arctic, climate change and air pollution interaction, weather and air pollution forecasting and integrated monitoring.

The aim is to provide, within the area of air pollution modelling and integrated impact assessment modelling, the highest capability in Denmark in research, development, application, teaching, talent development, advisory activities and decision support.

Scientific questions

The overall scientific questions driving the research in the section are:

  • What are the important processes controlling levels of air pollution and surface exchange at all scales?
  • What are the sources of air pollution and what are the impacts on human health and the environment?
  • What are the important processes controlling the interaction between climate and air pollution?

To answer these overall questions, the research areas within the section include:

  • Atmospheric physics and chemistry, meteorology, mathematical and numerical methods and computer science
  • Long-range chemistry transport modelling covering the Northern Hemisphere, with focus on Denmark, Europe, and the Arctic.
  • Local scale modeling, including emissions, atmospheric transport and chemical transformation covering cities and urban streets as well as point and area sources
  • Weather and air pollution forecast modeling from hemispheric scale to urban scale
  • Integrated model systems covering all scales for three-day forecasting or integrated assessment modelling with focus on impacts on health, the environment and climate and related external costs
  • Climate change and air pollution interactions with special focus on Denmark, Europe and the Arctic
  • Integrated monitoring, where models and measurements are combined to assess the state of the environment 

Atmospheric models

The atmospheric models developed and applied in the section, can be classified into three different groups:

  • Local scale models, which account for emissions, atmospheric transport, and chemical reactions and deposition close to the sources. The models can be applied, for example, in street canyons, highways, the urban background and up to a scale of around 20 km from point or area sources as industries and farms. Examples of such models are OML, UBM, OSPM and OML-Highway.
  • Long-range chemical transport models, which describe emissions, atmospheric transport, chemical reactions and deposition on a regional scale. These models cover the scale of Denmark, Europe and the northern Hemisphere. Examples are DEHM and DREAM.
  • Integrated model systems and decision support systems. These models cover various scales and applications. Typically, the integrated model systems have been developed to cover several scales at the same time, such as for weather and air pollution forecasting, or for integration with impact assessment models. The integrated model systems describe, for example, exposure to air pollution, impacts on human health or the environment, and related economic valuation of the impacts. Examples of integrated model systems are THOR, EVA (Economic Valuation of Air pollution), DAMOS (Danish Ammonia Modelling System), and AirGIS.

Scientific results

You will find information on the scientific results of research and advisory work carried out by the section via the following links:

Section employees