Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-165
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-165

  18 Mar 2021

18 Mar 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Effects of ozone-vegetation interactions on meteorology and air quality in China using a two-way coupled land-atmosphere model

Jiachen Zhu1, Amos P. K. Tai2, and Steve Hung Lam Yim1,3 Jiachen Zhu et al.
  • 1Department of Geography and Resource Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, N.T., Hong Kong, China
  • 2Earth System Science Programme, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, N.T., Hong Kong, China
  • 3Stanley Ho Big Data Decision Analytics Research Centre, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, N.T., Hong Kong, China

Abstract. Tropospheric ozone (O3), which is one of the most important air pollutants in China, is projected to continue to increase in the near future. O3 and vegetation closely interact with each other and such interactions may not only affect plant physiology (e.g., stomatal conductance and photosynthesis) but also influence the overlying meteorology and air quality through modifying leaf stomatal behaviors. Previous studies have highlighted China as a hotspot in terms of O3 pollution and O3 damage to vegetation. Yet, few studies have investigated the effects of O3-vegetation interactions on meteorology and air quality in China, especially in the light of recent severe O3 pollution. In this study, a two-way coupled land-atmosphere model was applied to simulate O3 damage to vegetation and the subsequent effects on meteorology and air quality in China. Our results reveal that O3 causes up to 16 % enhancement in stomatal resistance, whereby large increases are found in Henan, Hebei and Shandong provinces. O3 damage causes a more than 20 % reduction in photosynthesis rate, and at least 5 % and 20 % decrease in leaf area index (LAI) and gross primary production (GPP), respectively, and hotspot areas appear in the northeastern and southern China. The associated reduction in transpiration causes a 5–30 W m−2 decrease (increase) in latent heat (sensible heat) flux, which induces a 3 % reduction in surface relative humidity, 0.2–0.8 K increase in surface air temperature, and 40–120 m increase in boundary layer height in China. We also found that the meteorological changes further induce a 2–6 ppb increase in O3 concentration in northern and south-central China mainly due to enhanced isoprene emission following increased air temperature, demonstrating that O3-vegetation interactions can lead to a strong positive feedback that can amplify O3 pollution in China. Our findings emphasize the importance of considering the effects of O3 damage and O3-vegetation interactions in air quality simulations, with ramifications for both air quality and forest management.

Jiachen Zhu et al.

Status: open (until 13 May 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Jiachen Zhu et al.

Jiachen Zhu et al.

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Short summary
This study assessed O3 damage to plant and the subsequent effects on meteorology and air quality in China whereby O3, meteorology and vegetation can co-evolve with each other. We provided comprehensive understanding about how O3-vegetation impacts adversely affect plant growth and crop production, contribute to global warming and severe O3 air pollution in China. Our findings clearly pinpoint the need to consider the O3 damage effects in both air quality studies and climate change studies.
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