Regional Air Quality Management Aspects of Global Change: Impact of Climate-ResponsiveControls and Forest Management Practices on Regional Air Quality and Associated Uncertainties

EPA Grant Number: R834281
Title: Regional Air Quality Management Aspects of Global Change: Impact of Climate-ResponsiveControls and Forest Management Practices on Regional Air Quality and Associated Uncertainties
Investigators: Russell, Armistead G. , Graham, John , Bergin, Michelle S. , Wang, Y. T. , Nenes, Athanasios , Amar, Praveen
Current Investigators: Russell, Armistead G. , Bergin, Michelle S. , Wang, Y. T. , Tsimpidi, A.P. , Nenes, Athanasios , Tian, D. , Klieman, G. , Yang, H. , Rudokas, J. , Fahey, K. , Tsigaridis, K. , Trail, M. , Liu, P. , Amar, Praveen , Hu, Y.T.
Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus , NESCAUM , Georgia Institute of Technology
Current Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus , Georgia Environmental Protection Division , Georgia Institute of Technology , NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) , NESCAUM
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2012 (Extended to September 30, 2013)
Project Amount: $599,963
RFA: Adaptation for Future Air Quality Analysis and Decision Support Tools in Light of Global Change Impacts and Mitigation (2008) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Global Climate Change , Climate Change , Air


Air quality planning should account for global change, accounting for not only environmental change, but technological and societal change as well. Recent work shows that current traditional control directions, e.g., reducing regional NOx emissions to lower ambient ozone and PM2.5, and controlling SOx emissions to reduce PM2.5, will continue to be effective given predicted warming. However, the “climate penalty,” of the increased costs of air pollution control to overcome climate induced increases, is steep: over $7 billion (2008$’s) nationally. Future controls, however, may be motivated more by actions designed to mitigate climate change by adopting technologies and policies (including forest management practices) that are “climateresponsive”. Air quality planners should assess how global change will affect control strategies. This project addresses such considerations, and has four primary objectives: • Assess and compare how climate-responsive control choices will impact air quality • Assess how forest management practices, including biomass fuel production will impact future air quality • Quantify the sensitivities and uncertainties in results • Provide decision support analyses for use by air quality decision-makers Central hypotheses to be tested in achieving these objectives include: (1) appropriate choices of climate-responsive controls will positively impact regional air quality, enhancing their overall effectiveness, (2) forest management practices will become a major factor in determining future PM and ozone levels, and (3) reforestation associated with biomass fuel production will reduce temperatures in the Southeast, but can increase ozone and PM concentrations.


CMAQ will be extended, evaluated and applied to investigate how climate-responsive emissions controls and forest management practices will impact future regional air quality, building upon work already completed, explicitly examining uncertainties and sensitivities as to how air quality will respond to potential emissions scenarios. Climate-responsive control approaches will be modeled using economic/energy modeling with EPA MARKAL 9R, and their impacts on emissions will be downscaled to temporal and spatial scales that are compatible with regional air quality modeling using WRF, SMOKE and CMAQ. Global change impacted emissions from forest management practices (e.g., prescribed burning) will be estimated, and impacts assessed. Our target future date is 2049-2051, focusing on two regions in the eastern US for investigation. The Northeast and Southeast suffer from poor air quality, but differ in their emission sources, potential policy approaches to global change (e.g., cellulosic ethanol production in the Southeast) and future, climate-derived perturbations.

Expected Results:

Results will include quantitative estimates of how future air quality will be affected by climate-responsive control strategies, policies, and technologies, including future forest management practices, and estimates of important uncertainties associated with results. Our unique team, including Georgia Tech, NESCAUM and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, will provide for more direct policy relevance and rapid use of our decision support analyses in state and regional planning and decision making.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 14 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 5 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Models 3, Air Quality Policy, Climate Policy, Uncertainty, Sensitivity,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, POLLUTION PREVENTION, Energy, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Environmental Monitoring, Atmosphere, particulate matter, atmospheric nitrogen, decision making, energy efficiency, environmental policy, forests, ecosystem sustainability, deforestation, air quality, Global Climate Change

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2009 Progress Report
  • 2010 Progress Report
  • 2011 Progress Report
  • 2012 Progress Report
  • Final Report