The global aerosol-climate model echam6.3-ham2.3: Part 1: Aerosol evaluation

Ina Tegen*, David Neubauer, Sylvaine Ferrachat, Colombe Siegenthaler Le Drian, Isabelle Bey, Nick Schutgens, Philip Stier, Duncan Watson-Parris, Tanja Stanelle, Hauke Schmidt, Sebastian Rast, Harri Kokkola, Martin Schultz, Sabine Schroeder, Nikos Daskalakis, Stefan Barthel, Bernd Heinold, Ulrike Lohmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We introduce and evaluate aerosol simulations with the global aerosol-climate model ECHAM6.3-HAM2.3, which is the aerosol component of the fully coupled aerosol-chemistry-climate model ECHAM-HAMMOZ. Both the host atmospheric climate model ECHAM6.3 and the aerosol model HAM2.3 were updated from previous versions. The updated version of the HAM aerosol model contains improved parameterizations of aerosol processes such as cloud activation, as well as updated emission fields for anthropogenic aerosol species and modifications in the online computation of sea salt and mineral dust aerosol emissions. Aerosol results from nudged and free-running simulations for the 10-year period 2003 to 2012 are compared to various measurements of aerosol properties. While there are regional deviations between the model and observations, the model performs well overall in terms of aerosol optical thickness, but may underestimate coarse-mode aerosol concentrations to some extent so that the modeled particles are smaller than indicated by the observations. Sulfate aerosol measurements in the US and Europe are reproduced well by the model, while carbonaceous aerosol species are biased low. Both mineral dust and sea salt aerosol concentrations are improved compared to previous versions of ECHAM-HAM. The evaluation of the simulated aerosol distributions serves as a basis for the suitability of the model for simulating aerosol-climate interactions in a changing climate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1643-1677
Number of pages35
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2019


Acknowledgements. The ECHAM–HAMMOZ model is developed by a consortium composed of ETH Zurich, the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Forschungszentrum Juelich, the University of Oxford, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, and the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research; it is managed by the Center for Climate Systems Modeling (C2SM) at ETH Zurich. The research leading to these results has received partial funding from the Center for Climate System Modelling (C2SM) at ETH Zurich and the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) project BACCHUS under grant agreement no. 603445. This work was supported by a grant from the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) under project ID s652. We are grateful for computing time from the Swiss Computing Centre (CSCS), ETH Zurich, and the Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum (DKRZ). Computing resources at DKRZ were granted under project number bb1004. Philip Stier acknowledges funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) project BACCHUS under grant agreement 603445 and the European Research Council project ACCLAIM under grant agreement FP7280025, as well as the European Research Council project RECAP under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program with grant agreement 724602. Harri Kokkola acknowledges support by the Academy of Finland project nos. 308292 and 307331 and Nordforsk project no. 57001. The data used are listed in the references and are available under (last access: 1 March 2019). We thank the AERONET principal investigators and their staff for establishing and maintaining the sites used in this paper. IMPROVE is a collaborative association of state, tribal, and federal agencies, as well as international partners. We thank Maria Kanakidou (ECPL, University of Crete) for the help in compiling the EMEP and IMPROVE datasets. For the aircraft data we thank Colette Heald (MIT, Dept. Civil and Environmental Engineering), Hugh Coe (University of Manchester), Lynn Russell (Scripps Institution of Oceanography), Rodney Weber (Georgia Institute of Technology), Jose Jimenez (University of Colorado at Boulder), Roya Bahreini (University of Colorado – CIRES, NOAA ESRL Chemical Sciences Division), and Ann Middlebrook (NOAA ESRL Chemical Sciences Division). We are grateful for the James S. McDonnell Foundation Award for 21st Century Science, NOAA grant NA17RJ1231, National Science Foundation grants ATM-0002035, ATM-0002698, and ATM04-01611, and the NERC Global Aerosol Synthesis and Science Project (GASSP) NE/J023515/1. The US Environmental Protection Agency is the primary funding source, with contracting and research support from the National Park Service. The Air Quality Group at the University of California, Davis, is the central analytical laboratory, with 20 ion analyses provided by the Research Triangle Institute and carbon analysis provided by the Desert Research Institute. The authors thank Ron Miller and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions. The publication of this article was funded by the Open Access Fund of the Leibniz Association.

FundersFunder number
Center for Climate System Modelling
NERC Global Aerosol Synthesis and Science Project
National Science FoundationATM-0002698, ATM04-01611, ATM-0002035
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationNA17RJ1231
James S. McDonnell Foundation
National Park Service
National Centre for Supercomputing Applicationss652
Natural Environment Research CouncilNE/L01355X/1
European Research CouncilFP7280025
Academy of Finland307331, 308292
Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich
Seventh Framework Programme
Horizon 2020724602


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