Cross influences of ozone and sulfate precursor emissions changes on air quality and climate

  • Unger N
  • Shindell D
  • Koch D
 et al. 
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Abstract

Tropospheric O(3) and sulfate both contribute to air pollution and climate forcing. There is a growing realization that air quality and climate change issues are strongly connected. To date, the importance of the coupling between O(3) and sulfate has not been fully appreciated, and thus regulations treat each pollutant separately. We show that emissions of O(3) precursors can dramatically affect regional sulfate air quality and climate forcing. At 2030 in an A1B future, increased O(3) precursor emissions enhance surface sulfate over India and China by up to 20% because of increased levels of OH and gas-phase SO(2) oxidation rates and add up to 20% to the direct sulfate forcing for that region relative to the present day. Hence, O(3) precursors impose an indirect forcing via sulfate, which is more than twice the direct O(3) forcing itself (compare -0.61 vs. +0.35 W/m(2)). Regulatory policy should consider both air quality and climate and should address O(3) and sulfate simultaneously because of the strong interaction between these species.

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Authors

  • N. Unger

  • D. T. Shindell

  • D. M. Koch

  • D. G. Streets

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