2018 Progress Report: Effects of Changes in Climate and Land Use on U.S. Dust and Wildfire Particulate Matter

EPA Grant Number: R835875
Title: Effects of Changes in Climate and Land Use on U.S. Dust and Wildfire Particulate Matter
Investigators: Mickley, Loretta J. , Jacob, Daniel J. , Kaplan, Jed
Institution: Harvard University , ARVE Research Sarl
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2018 (Extended to December 31, 2020)
Project Period Covered by this Report: January 1, 2018 through December 31,2018
Project Amount: $719,780
RFA: Particulate Matter and Related Pollutants in a Changing World (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air , Climate Change


Project goals are as follows: (1) to quantify the effects of climate change and land use on dust mobilization and transport within the western United States; (2) to quantify the impact of climate change on Asian dust influence over the western United States; and (3) to provide fine-scale projections of wildfire smoke in future decades in the West under climate change.

Progress Summary:

Activities. We first wrapped up our investigation of the effects of future climate change on the dust burden the U.S. Southwest. This study relied on a statistical model developed by former student Pattanun (Ploy) Achakulwisut, using observed relationships between dust and drought metrics. In other work, CoI Jed Kaplan generated wildfire emissions and land characteristics from the LPJ-LMfire model, a land cover model that takes into account the effects of both climate change and ambient CO2 concentrations on vegetation. By applying the LPJ-LMfire output to the chemical transport model GEOS-Chem, our postdoc Yang Li is currently working to better quantify the climate penalty on both dust PM and wildfire smoke.

We also contributed to a project led by Susan Anenberg of George Washington University. In this project, our former student Achakulwisut is re-examining the climate impact on dust using statistically downscaled meteorology from six climate models and two scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5).

Outcomes. Outcomes are described in the Results section of this report (Section 5).

Comparison of accomplishments vs. goals. We are roughly on track toward meeting our goals for the project. In Year 4, we will wrap up our work with LPJ-LMfire and GEOS-Chem simulations to quantify the effect of climate change on wildfires and dust.

Future Activities:

In Year 4 we will focus on the following activities.

1. We will wrap up work on Project 5, described above. A manuscript is currently in draft form and will be submitted by late spring.

2. Work is ongoing to re-examine the effect of climate change on dust PM, this time taking the effect of land cover change into account. Preliminary results show that in some arid regions, the CO2 fertilization effect increases vegetation cover, with a surprising decline in dust mobilization.

Journal Articles on this Report : 4 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 6 publications 5 publications in selected types All 5 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Achakulwisut P, Shen L, Mickley LJ. What controls springtime fine dust variability in the western United States? Investigating the 2002–2015 increase in fine dust in the U.S. Southwest. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 2017;122(22):12449-12467. R835875 (2017)
R835875 (2018)
  • Full-text: SemanticScholar-Full Text PDF
  • Abstract: Wiley-Abstract
  • Journal Article Liu JC, Wilson A, Mickley LJ, Ebisu K, Sulprizio MP, Wang Y, Peng RD, Yue X, Dominici F, Bell ML. Who among the elderly is most vulnerable to exposure to and health risks of fine particulate matter from wildfire smoke? American Journal of Epidemiology 2017;186(6):730-735. R835875 (2017)
    R835875 (2018)
    R834798 (Final)
    R835871 (2017)
    R835871 (2018)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Associated PubMed link
  • Full-text: OUP-Full Text HTML
  • Other: OUP-Full Text PDF
  • Journal Article Achakulwisut P, Mickley LJ, Anenberg SC. Drought-sensitive of fine dust variability in the western United States? Implications for the recent dust increase in the Southwest:implications for air quality and public health under future climate change. Environmental Research Letters 2018;13(5):54025 R835875 (2018)
  • Full-text: Environmental Research Letters - Full Text HTML and PDF
  • Journal Article Achakulwisut P, Anenberg SC, Neumann JE, Penn SL, Weiss N, Crimmins A, Fann N, Martinich J, Roman J, Mickley LJ. Effects of increasing aridity on ambient dust and public health in the US Southwest under climate change. American Geophysical Union GeoHealth 2019;3(5):127-144. R835875 (2018)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: AGU 100 - Full Text HTML and PDF
  • Other: AGU 100 - Full Text PDF
  • Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2016 Progress Report
  • 2017 Progress Report