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Science Wednesday – Modeling Matters: See Mack Run the Half-Marathon

2011 October 19

Each week we write about the science behind environmental protection. Previous Science Wednesdays.

By Tanya Otte

Lots of people like running. I’m not one of them…unless it involves running models! Since I was hired, I’ve been a part of a team that develops and runs models to help understand interactions between meteorology, natural and anthropogenic (“human-caused”) emissions, and air quality. The heartbeat of the air quality model development occurs in EPA’s Atmospheric Modeling and Analysis Division and with the Community Multiscale Air Quality Modeling (CMAQ) system, the Nation’s premier air quality simulation model.

CMAQ (pronounced “see mack”), a state-of-the-science tool for air quality modeling, was first publically released in 1998 by the EPA, and it now boasts a worldwide community of more than 3,700 users in 95 countries. CMAQ has been used by the EPA and by state environmental agencies to support air quality policy decisions. Nations around the world use CMAQ to study air pollution issues and create air quality management strategies. CMAQ provides daily ozone forecast guidance issued by the National Weather Service. The CMAQ user community spectrum spans academia, government, and private industry. CMAQ is one of the most widely respected modeling tools of its genre.

This month, EPA is releasing CMAQ 5.0. Major updates to CMAQ, like this, occur about every three years. CMAQ 5.0 incorporates the latest developments in air quality science, and it can be used to examine the interactions between air quality and climate. One of the biggest advances in CMAQ 5.0 is a comprehensive and synchronized coupling of meteorology and air chemistry to more accurately simulate the feedbacks between weather and air pollution.

This month, EPA also celebrates the 10th anniversary of its partnership with the Community Modeling and Analysis System (CMAS) Center. CMAS has been the conduit for public releases of CMAQ, and they have been instrumental in brokering international scientific contributions to CMAQ. CMAS has provided training and online support for the CMAQ community, and they host an annual workshop dedicated to exchanging the most updated scientific findings. This year’s workshop takes place October 24-26, and more than 250 participants have registered.

CMAQ just completed the half-marathon (measured in years, not miles). With a strong team at the EPA and a diverse and growing community of international collaborators, CMAQ will be running the race for many years to come!

About the author: Tanya Otte, a research physical scientist, has worked at EPA in atmospheric modeling and analysis since 1998.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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3 Responses leave one →
  1. armansyahardanis permalink
    October 19, 2011

    CMAQ : As The Black Box.-

    The Disasters change the regional to be damage: whatever, whenever and wherever! However, we must know them in a scale system 24/7 for monitoring air and air quality of the planets. From the beginning, we support this CMAQ as Modeling Matters for one world and next one universe. Great Jobs and congratulations EPA…!!!

  2. william davis permalink
    October 19, 2011

    I am an old scientist trying to demonstrate a potential method for reducing oil consumation, highway deaths/accidents, improving all forms of transportation, while reducing all expenses such as fuel, rubber tires, health care, insurance, maintenance of highaways, costs of transporting personnel, goods, mail, material, etc. This can be done if the EPA and Dpt.of Transportation can initiate a special task force with the responsibility for reviewing, analyzing, and performing systems analysis/engineering of all forms of dual mode vehicles which travel on highways, streets and fully automatic on special inexpensive grade separated guideways. This task force should be able to arrive at one or more conceptual systems which will revolutionize our current highway system but solve many current problems: clean air, reduced CO2, improve transportation by a major factor and all costs of living and doing business. Please see “” for a potential straw-man to prove the feasiblility of such a system.

    Very Sincerely. Bill Dlavis

  3. Play online skill games permalink
    November 2, 2011

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