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Journal of Applied Mathematics
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 267683, 14 pages
Research Article

Impact of Urban Surface Roughness Length Parameterization Scheme on Urban Atmospheric Environment Simulation

1International Center for Climate and Environment Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
2Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Nanjing Unversity of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China

Received 7 November 2013; Revised 31 January 2014; Accepted 1 February 2014; Published 26 March 2014

Academic Editor: Wang Bing

Copyright © 2014 Meichun Cao and Zhaohui Lin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this paper, the impact of urban surface roughness length parameterization scheme on the atmospheric environment simulation over Beijing has been investigated through two sets of numerical experiments using the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with the Urban Canopy Model. For the control experiment (CTL), the urban surface parameterization scheme used in UCM is the model default one. For another experiment (EXP), a newly developed urban surface parameterization scheme is adopted, which takes into account the comprehensive effects of urban morphology. The comparison of the two sets of simulation results shows that all the roughness parameters computed from the EXP run are larger than those in the CTL run. The increased roughness parameters in the EXP run result in strengthened drag and blocking effects exerted by buildings, which lead to enhanced friction velocity, weakened wind speed in daytime, and boosted turbulent kinetic energy after sunset. Thermal variables (sensible heat flux and temperature) are much less sensitive to variations. In contrast with the CTL run, the EXP run reasonably simulates the observed nocturnal low-level jet. Besides, the EXP run-simulated land surface-atmosphere momentum and heat exchanges are also in better agreement with the observation.