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3rd NAME User Workshop held at the Met Office - 6th and 7th June 2016

Modelling the release from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. After this disater, the Met Office was tasked with developing a first version of a Nuclear Accident Response ModEl (NAME) and a two dimensional version was available in 1987.

July 2016 - The Met Office successfully hosted the 3rd NAME User Workshop last month, which was organised by members of the Atmospheric Dispersion and Air Quality group and attended by over 35 scientists and pollution experts from within and outside the UK.

The NAME 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. In recent years, the NAME user community has seen a continuous growth and the first user workshop was established in 2014 to foster interaction among developers and users from the academic, research and governmental sectors both at national and international level.

Participants at the 3rd NAME User Workshop, which was held at the Met Office in June 2016.

Scientific content of the workshop  

The 2016 workshop covered interdisciplinary sessions from the latest scientific developments in NAME to applications of the model to atmospheric chemistry and composition, air quality, radiological dispersion and volcanic emissions.

Key synergistic topics presented at the workshop 

  • Exploitation of NAME in a number of novel inversion modelling studies to relate the mole fractions of a gas measured in the atmosphere to a set of emissions (e.g. CO2 at the University of Bristol and at NIWA in New Zealand, and N2O by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) and more generally to understand the transport patterns of short lived species in the Tropics and of methane in the Arctic (University of Cambridge).
  • Analysis of sensitivity to input meteorological data and source parameters as well as related forecast uncertainty which were discussed particularly in the context of volcanic ash forecasting and related emergency response (presentations by the University of Reading, the Norwegian Institute for Air Research and the Met Office).
  • Current exploitation and opportunity for furthering the application of NAME in Air Hazard Emergency Response at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and for nuclear emergency planning, exercises and response at Public Health England and the Met Office itself.

An outlook towards the future

NAME and associated meteorological data has been ported to the NCAS JASMIN platform: the resources currently available were widely illustrated during the second day of the workshop, including the LOTUS cluster, a multi-node high performance computing set-up on which NAME can be run. NAME users are strongly encouraged to exploit the JASMIN facility; some are already using it and a few studies were showcased.

Following the 16 talks and 10 posters presented over the two days, a final breakout discussion session provided valuable feedback from external users. This process raised awareness of the issues and needs currently experienced by both developers and users, which is vital in strengthening and ensuring future growth of the NAME community.

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