The long range transport of ozone within Europe and its control

  • Derwent R
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Abstract

It is widely accepted that the ozone concentrations experienced during photochemical episodes over large areas of Europe may exceed levels at which adverse environmental effects could be expected. These peak ozone concentrations can be reduced by controlling atmospheric emissions of the hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide precursors. For ozone control to be successful over the spatial scale of Europe, long term international cooperation is required in the formulation of emission abatement strategies. A significant barrier to rapid progress has been the complexity of the processes that describe ozone formation. Highly sophisticated computer models of chemistry and transport have, up to now, been the only means to study the impact of abatement strategies. An alternative approach has been adopted here involving the development of a simplified long range transport model for ozone based on the analysis of over 60 experimental runs of a photochemical trajectory model applied to a wide range of hydrocarbon-nitrogen oxide emission combinations. Using the ozone-precursor relationship obtained, it has been possible to examine various policy options in the European context. Although taken together, three illustrative emission control scenarios reduce NOxand hydrocarbon emissions substantially through controls on motor vehicle exhaust, large combustion plant and solvent usage, a significant potential for photochemical ozone formation and long range transport may still remain after their implementation. The extents of precursor emission abatement that will be required, if the potential for ozone formation is to be reduced below published air quality criteria guidelines or critical levels, have been determined for each European country. The implied reductions in NOxand hydrocarbons relative to current levels amount to between 50 and 90%. © 1990.

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