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Title: Impacts of Future Climate and Emission Changes on U.S. Air Quality

Changes in climate and emissions will affect future air quality. In this work, simulations of present (2001-2005) and future (2026-2030) regional air quality are conducted with the newly released CMAQ version 5.0 to examine the individual and combined impacts of simulated future climate and anthropogenic emission projections on air quality over the U.S. Current (2001-2005) meteorological and chemical predictions are evaluated against observational data to assess the model’s capability in reproducing the seasonal differences. Overall, WRF and CMAQ perform reasonably well. Increased temperatures (up to 3.18 °C) and decreased ventilation (up to 157 m in planetary boundary layer height) are found in both future winter and summer, with more prominent changes in winter. Increases in future temperatures result in increased isoprene and terpene emissions in winter and summer, driving the increase in maximum 8-h average O3 (up to 5.0 ppb) over the eastern U.S. in winter while decreases in NOx emissions drive the decrease in O3 over most of the U.S. in summer. Future concentrations of PM2.5 in winter and summer and many of its components including organic matter in winter, ammonium and nitrate in summer, and sulfate in winter and summer, decrease due to decreases in primary anthropogenic emissionsmore » and the concentrations of secondary anthropogenic pollutants and increased precipitation in winter. Future winter and summer dry and wet deposition fluxes are spatially variable and increase with increasing surface resistance and precipitation (e.g., NH4+ and NO3- dry and wet deposition fluxes increase in winter over much of the U.S.), respectively, and decrease with a decrease in ambient particulate concentrations (e.g., SO42- dry and wet deposition fluxes decrease over the eastern U.S. in summer and winter). Sensitivity simulations show that anthropogenic emission projections dominate over changes in climate in their impacts on the U.S. air quality in the near future. Changes in some regions/species, however, are dominated by climate and/or both climate and anthropogenic emissions, especially in future years that are marked by meteorological conditions conducive to poor air quality.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Atmospheric Environment, 89:533–547
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States
future climate change; emissions; air quality; CMAQ; WRF; model evaluation