The 7th NAME User Workshop

The Met Office welcomed almost 80 participants to an online workshop to discuss recent developments and applications of the NAME atmospheric dispersion model.

The workshop was organised by members of the Atmospheric Dispersion and Air Quality group and brought together new and experienced users and model developers of the Met Office's atmospheric dispersion model NAME. The event provides a platform for sharing research and other model-related information, networking and strengthening links. This year the workshop took place entirely online and was the largest to date with almost 80 users and collaborators from academia, government organisations, research institutions and commercial companies both from within the UK and globally.

The NAME model and user community

The Numerical Atmospheric-Dispersion Modelling Environment (NAME) is a Lagrangian model developed by the Met Office to simulate the dispersion of a wide range of airborne pollutants from dispersion events such as nuclear accidents, volcanic eruptions, chemical accidents, smoke from fires, and airborne animal and plant diseases. In recent years, the NAME user community has seen continuous growth and the first user workshop was established in 2014.

Scientific content of the workshop

During the 2021 workshop, details were presented of collaborative projects and the use of NAME across many applications, organisations and countries. Interdisciplinary sessions covered the latest technical and scientific developments in NAME and applications of the model to air quality and composition, emergency response, biological dispersion, and volcanic emissions.

Key topics presented at the workshop

The workshop introduced NAME v8.1 and v8.2, including highlighting new features and giving advice for users. Attendees were also given a preview of developments planned for the next version.

Talks were given on the use of NAME in modelling foot and mouth disease, locusts, wheat rust, volcanic sulphur dioxide and pollen. Future plans for air quality modelling using NAME were shared and novel ways of visualising model output demonstrated.

There were a number of presentations on assessing uncertainties in modelling, including the use of meteorological ensembles and accounting for uncertainties in source details. Alongside this, inversion modelling techniques were described using NAME to estimate emissions of greenhouse gases and volcanic ash.

Interactive ‘tech-bar’ sessions again provided an opportunity for attendees to get help and to ask questions on a range of NAME related issues. There were a variety of sessions, designed for both new and experienced users. Demonstrations of the NAME chemistry scheme and of running NAME on the JASMIN computing platform were given, and participants were invited to take part in a NAME input file challenge and to get advice on their model run set up.

Discussion sessions took place on the use of observations in atmospheric dispersion modelling, visualisation of NAME output, high resolution modelling and uncertainties (including the use of ensembles and communication of uncertainty). An Early NAME User's group and virtual chat sessions during coffee breaks enabled participants to meet other attendees during the online workshop.

The next NAME User Workshop will take place on 22nd and 23rd June 2022.