Mid-21st century air quality at the urban scale under the influence of changed climate and emissions – case studies for Paris and Stockholm
Abstract. Ozone, PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations over Paris, France and Stockholm, Sweden were modelled at 4 and 1 km horizontal resolutions respectively for the present and 2050 periods employing decade-long simulations. We account for large-scale global climate change (RCP-4.5) and fine-resolution bottom-up emission projections developed by local experts and quantify their impact on future pollutant concentrations. Moreover, we identify biases related to the implementation of regional-scale emission projections by comparing modelled pollutant concentrations between the fine- and coarse-scale simulations over the study areas. We show that over urban areas with major regional contribution (e.g. the city of Stockholm) the bias related to coarse-scale projections may be significant and lead to policy misclassification. Our results stress the need to better understand the mechanism of bias propagation across the modelling scales in order to design more successful local-scale strategies. We find that the impact of climate change is spatially homogeneous in both regions, implying strong regional influence. The climate benefit for ozone (daily mean and maximum) is up to −5 % for Paris and −2 % for Stockholm city. The climate benefit on PM2.5 and PM10 in Paris is between −5 and −10 %, while for Stockholm we estimate mixed trends of up to 3 % depending on season and size class. In Stockholm, emission mitigation leads to concentration reductions up to 15 % for daily mean and maximum ozone and 20 % for PM. Through a sensitivity analysis we show that this response is entirely due to changes in emissions at the regional scale. On the contrary, over the city of Paris (VOC-limited photochemical regime), local mitigation of NOx emissions increases future ozone concentrations due to ozone titration inhibition. This competing trend between the respective roles of emission and climate change, results in an increase in 2050 daily mean ozone by 2.5 % in Paris. Climate and not emission change appears to be the most influential factor for maximum ozone concentration over the city of Paris, which may be particularly interesting from a health impact perspective.