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Extramural Research

Impacts of Changes in Land Use and Land Cover on U.S. Air Quality: Development and Application of an Integrated Climate-Vegetation-Chemistry Modeling System

EPA Grant Number: R834286
Title: Impacts of Changes in Land Use and Land Cover on U.S. Air Quality: Development and Application of an Integrated Climate-Vegetation-Chemistry Modeling System
Investigators: Wu, Shiliang , Kaplan, Jed
Institution: Michigan Technological University
EPA Project Officer: Dawson, John P
Project Period: July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2012 (Extended to June 30, 2013)
Project Amount: $299,596
RFA: Adaptation for Future Air Quality Analysis and Decision Support Tools in Light of Global Change Impacts and Mitigation (2008)
Research Category: Global Climate Change , Air Quality and Air Toxics



This project will investigate the potential impacts of changing land use and land cover on ozone and particulate matter (PM) air quality in the United States from 2010 to 2050. It will develop an integrated modeling system and quantify the contributing effects from changes in land cover due to climate change and increasing CO2 fertilization as well as those from anthropogenic land-use change. These changes are expected to affect air quality through various aspects including changes in the natural emissions of ozone and PM precursors and changes in the deposition of ozone and PM as well as their precursors. Some preliminary work has shown that these changes in the coming decades could have potentially large impacts on atmospheric chemistry and air quality.


We will couple three global models including a general circulation model (GISS GCM 3), a dynamic vegetation model (LPJ), and a chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem) in this project. The LPJ vegetation model will be driven by meteorological fields from the GISS GCM to examine the potential effects of climate change on vegetation by 2050. We will implement the global vegetation cover (for both present-day and 2050) into the GEOS-Chem model and conduct fully coupled ozone-aerosol simulations to investigate the consequence for ozone and PM air quality in the United States. We will also investigate the effects from changes in anthropogenic land-use change such as deforestation/afforestation and agricultural expansion.

Expected Results:

The proposed study will expand the capability of current models used for long-term air quality planning by accounting for effects from changes in climate and vegetation. It will provide an integrated assessment of the potential impacts on ozone and PM air quality in the United States from future changes in land use and land cover driven by climate change, increasing CO2 fertilization, and direct human intervention. Results from this project will help policy makers to develop improved strategies for long-term planning of air quality management in the context of global change.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 11 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 11 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

air pollution, sulfates, nitrates, ammonium, organic aerosols, agriculture expansion, cropland, natural emissions, ecosystem, forest, afforestation, carbon sequestration, tropospheric ozone, tropospheric aerosol, PM2.5, climate models;, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, ECOSYSTEMS, climate change, Agroecosystems, Ecology and Ecosystems, Global Climate Change, air quality modeling, carbon sequestration, environmental monitoring, particulate matter, carbon dioxide, climate models, agriculture, environmental stressors, landscape characterization, deforestation, land use

Progress and Final Reports:
2010 Progress Report
2011 Progress Report
2012 Progress Report
Final Report

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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