Simulating the impacts of chronic ozone exposure on plant conductance and photosynthesis, and on the regional hydroclimate using WRF/Chem

Jialun Li, Alex Mahalov, Peter Hyde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The Noah-Multiparameterization land surface model in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) with Chemistry (WRF/Chem) is modified to include the effects of chronic ozone exposure (COE) on plant conductance and photosynthesis (PCP) found from field experiments. Based on the modified WRF/Chem, the effects of COE on regional hydroclimate have been investigated over the continental United States. Our results indicate that the model with/without modification in its current configuration can reproduce the rainfall and temperature patterns of the observations and reanalysis data, although it underestimates rainfall in the central Great Plains and overestimates it in the eastern coast states. The experimental tests on the effects of COE include setting different thresholds of ambient ozone concentrations ([O3]) and using different linear regressions to quantify PCP against the COE. Compared with the WRF/Chem control run (i.e., without considering the effects of COE), the modified model at different experiment setups improves the simulated estimates of rainfall and temperatures in Texas and regions to the immediate north. The simulations in June, July and August of 2007-2012 show that surface [O3] decrease latent heat fluxes (LH) by 10-27 W m-2, increase surface air temperatures (T 2) by 0.6 °C-2.0 °C, decrease rainfall by 0.9-1.4 mm d-1, and decrease runoff by 0.1-0.17 mm d-1 in Texas and surrounding areas, all of which highly depends on the precise experiment setup, especially the [O3] threshold. The mechanism producing these results is that COE decreases the LH and increases sensible heat fluxes, which in turn increases the Bowen ratios and air temperatures. This lowering of the LH also results in the decrease of convective potential and finally decreases convective rainfall. Employing this modified WRF/Chem model in any high [O3] region can improve the understanding of the interactions of vegetation, meteorology, chemistry/emissions, and crop productivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114017
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 11 2016


  • WRF/Chem
  • chronic ozone
  • hydroclimate effect
  • plant conductance and photosynthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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