EPA Science Inventory

“Changes in US Regional Air Quality at 2030 Simulated Using RCP 6.0”


Nolte, Chris, T. Otte, R. Pinder, J. Bowden, G. Faluvegi, AND D. Shindell. “Changes in US Regional Air Quality at 2030 Simulated Using RCP 6.0”. Presented at Changes in U.S. Regional-Scale Air Quality at 2030 Simulated Using RCP 6.0, Chapel Hill, NC, October 28 - 31, 2013.


Session: Global/Regional Modeling Applications Recent improvements in air quality in the United States have been due to significant reductions in emissions of ozone and particulate matter (PM) precursors, and these downward emissions trends are expected to continue in the next few decades. To ensure that planned air quality regulations are robust under a range of possible future climates and to evaluate possible policy actions to mitigate climate change, it is important to characterize and understand the effects of climate change on air quality. Recent work by several research groups using global and regional models has demonstrated that there is a "climate penalty," in which climate change leads to increases in surface ozone levels in polluted continental regions. One approach to simulating future air quality at the regional scale is via dynamical downscaling, in which fields from a global climate model are used as input for a regional climate model, and these regional climate data are subsequently used for chemical transport modeling. In this work, regional climate simulations created by downscaling the NASA/GISS Model E2 global climate model are used as input for the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model. CMAQ simulations over the continental United States are conducted for two 11-year time slices, one representing current climate (1995-2005) and one following Representative Concentration Pathway 6.0 from 2025-2035. Anthropogenic emissions of ozone and PM precursors are held constant at year 2006 levels for both the current and future periods. We examine the changes in ozone and PM concentrations, with particular focus on exceedances of the current U.S. air quality standards, and attempt to relate the changes in air quality to the projected changes in regional climate.


The National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) Atmospheric Modeling and Analysis Division (AMAD) conducts research in support of EPA mission to protect human health and the environment. AMAD research program is engaged in developing and evaluating predictive atmospheric models on all spatial and temporal scales for forecasting the air quality and for assessing changes in air quality and air pollutant exposures, as affected by changes in ecosystem management and regulatory decisions. AMAD is responsible for providing a sound scientific and technical basis for regulatory policies based on air quality models to improve ambient air quality. The models developed by AMAD are being used by EPA, NOAA, and the air pollution community in understanding and forecasting not only the magnitude of the air pollution problem, but also in developing emission control policies and regulations for air quality improvements.



Record Details:

Start Date: 07/10/2014
Completion Date: 07/10/2014
Record Last Revised: 07/15/2014
Record Created: 07/10/2014
Record Released: 07/10/2014
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 280781