The effects of global changes upon regional ozone pollution in the United States

by J Chen, J Avise, B Lamb, E Salath, C. Mass, A. Guenther, C.Wiedinmyer, J.-F. Lamarque, S. O’Neill, D. McKenzie, N. Larkin show all authors
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ()
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Abstract

A comprehensive numerical modeling framework was developed to estimate the effects of collective global changes upon ozone pollution in the US in 2050. The frame- work consists of the global climate and chemistry models, PCM (Parallel Climate Model) and MOZART-2 (Model for Ozone and Related Chemical Tracers v.2), coupled with re- gional meteorology and chemistry models,MM5(Mesoscale Meteorological model) and CMAQ (Community Multi-scale Air Quality model). The modeling system was applied for two 10-year simulations: 1990–1999 as a present-day base case and 2045–2054 as a future case. For the current decade, the daily maximum8-h moving average (DM8H) ozone mix- ing ratio distributions for spring, summer and fall showed good agreement with observations. The future case sim- ulation followed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) A2 scenario together with business-as-usual US emission projections and projected alterations in land use, land cover (LULC) due to urban expansion and changes in vegetation. For these projections, US anthropogenic NOx (NO+NO2) and VOC (volatile organic carbon) emis- sions increased by approximately 6% and 50%, respectively, while biogenic VOC emissions decreased, in spite of warmer temperatures, due to decreases in forested lands and expan- sion of croplands, grasslands and urban areas. A stochastic model for wildfire emissions was applied that projected 25% higher VOC emissions in the future. For the global and US emission projection used here, regional ozone pollution be- comes worse in the 2045–2054 period for all months. An- nually, the mean DM8H ozone was projected to increase by 9.6 ppbv (22%). The changes were higher in the spring and winter (25%) and smaller in the summer (17%). The area affected by elevated ozone within the US continent was pro- jected to increase; areas with levels exceeding the 75 ppbv ozone standard at least once a year increased by 38%. In addition, the length of the ozone season was projected to in- crease with more pollution episodes in the spring and fall. For selected urban areas, the system projected a higher num- ber of pollution events per year and these events had more consecutive days when DM8H ozone exceed 75 ppbv.

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