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Met Office hosts the 4th NAME User Workshop

An example of a dispersion area risk map.

July 2017 – Last month the Met Office hosted the 4th NAME User Workshop which ran over two days on 20th and 21st June 2017.

The workshop was organised by members of the Atmospheric Dispersion and Air Quality group and attended by 40 scientists and pollution experts from within and outside the UK. This year also saw a large video conference attendance from Australia, Malaysia, and across the UK.

Above: Scientists who attended the 2017 workshop at the Met Office, Exeter.

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 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.

Scientific content of the workshop   

The 2017 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

  • Research in to improvements of volcanic ash modelling with NAME, such as, studies on particle shape, ash aggregation, resuspension of ash, and use of ensemble met data or observations for improved volcanic ash forecasting (University of Bristol, University of Geneva, Met Office, University of Reading, Bureau of Meteorology).
  • An update to users on the latest model release and the move to the Met Office Science Repository Service, exploration of the use of radar rainfall data to improve dispersion predictions, and  development of a particle size dependent wet deposition scheme for NAME (Met Office).
  • Application of NAME to study the effects of sheltering and evacuation in reducing doses from atmospheric releases of radioactivity; over the North Sea for generation of pseudo-observations of methane; over South East Asia and Singapore for attribution of biomass burning; and in New Zealand for modelling of both Foot and Mouth spread and volcanic ash dispersion. (Public Health England, University of Cambridge, Met Office, National Institute of Water and Atmosphere research).
  • The posters covered topics such as interactive presentation of calculation of along-flight volcanic ash dosage, the effects of uneven density distribution on particle’s settling velocity, spread of plant disease, and an update on the NAME parallelisation project in collaboration with the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (Universities of Reading, Bristol, and Cambridge, Met Office/Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre).

An outlook towards the future

Through last year’s discussion session we got valuable feedback on how our external users see NAME and that they are interested in and willing to contribute directly to model development and following that we are now making NAME available on the Met Office Science Repository Service.

Following the 15 talks and 8 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. Feedback from this year’s workshop is being collated and we expect it will also prove useful in developing our plans, improving our training, and furthering our collaborations.

The next NAME User Workshop is expected to be held in June 2018.

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