Articles | Volume 11, issue 10
Research article
23 May 2011
Research article |  | 23 May 2011

Impacts of future climate change and effects of biogenic emissions on surface ozone and particulate matter concentrations in the United States

Y. F. Lam, J. S. Fu, S. Wu, and L. J. Mickley

Abstract. Simulations of present and future average regional ozone and PM2.5 concentrations over the United States were performed to investigate the potential impacts of global climate change and emissions on regional air quality using CMAQ. Various emissions and climate conditions with different biogenic emissions and domain resolutions were implemented to study the sensitivity of future air quality trends from the impacts of changing biogenic emissions. A comparison of GEOS-Chem and CMAQ was performed to investigate the effect of downscaling on the prediction of future air quality trends. For ozone, the impacts of global climate change are relatively smaller when compared to the impacts of anticipated future emissions reduction, except for the Northeast area, where increasing biogenic emissions due to climate change have stronger positive effects (increases) to the regional ozone air quality. The combination effect from both climate change and emission reductions leads to approximately a 10 % or 5 ppbv decrease of the maximum daily average eight-hour ozone (MDA8) over the Eastern United States. For PM2.5, the impacts of global climate change have shown insignificant effect, where as the impacts of anticipated future emissions reduction account for the majority of overall PM2.5 reductions. The annual average 24-h PM2.5 of the future-year condition was found to be about 40 % lower than the one from the present-year condition, of which 60 % of its overall reductions are contributed to by the decrease of SO4 and NO3 particulate matters. Changing the biogenic emissions model increases the MDA8 ozone by about 5–10 % or 3–5 ppbv in the Northeast area. Conversely, it reduces the annual average PM2.5 by 5 % or 1.0 μg m−3 in the Southeast region.

Final-revised paper