Project 3: Air Quality and Climate Change Modeling: Improving Projections of the Spatial and Temporal Changes of Multipollutants to Enhance Assessment of Public Health in a Changing World

EPA Grant Number: R835871C003
Subproject: this is subproject number 003 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R835871
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Solutions for Energy, AiR, Climate and Health Center (SEARCH)
Center Director: Bell, Michelle L.
Title: Project 3: Air Quality and Climate Change Modeling: Improving Projections of the Spatial and Temporal Changes of Multipollutants to Enhance Assessment of Public Health in a Changing World
Investigators: Zhang, Yang , Bell, Michelle L. , Campbell, Patrick , Leung, Lai-yung Ruby , Lu, Zifeng , Streets, David G. , Wang, Kai , Yan, Fang
Current Investigators: Zhang, Yang , Bell, Michelle L. , Leung, Lai-yung Ruby , Streets, David G.
Institution: North Carolina State University , Pacific Northwest National Laboratory , University of Chicago , Yale University
Current Institution: North Carolina State University , Argonne National Laboratory , Battelle Memorial Institute, Pacific Northwest Division , Yale University
EPA Project Officer: Callan, Richard
Project Period: October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2020
RFA: Air, Climate And Energy (ACE) Centers: Science Supporting Solutions (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air , Climate Change , Airborne Particulate Matter Health Effects , Particulate Matter , Global Climate Change

Objective:

We hypothesize that the spatial/temporal variations of air pollutants will have significant impacts on predicted exposure and health effects, and compound climate extremes will significantly impact air quality and health. Using advanced 3-D regional models, novel bias reduction and uncertainty quantification techniques, and satellite/surface data, we will improve characterization of the temporal and spatial variability of energy-related multipollutants and identify the most important modifiable factors contributing to their regional differences under current and future energy/emission and global change scenarios.

Approach:

Using emissions related to energy transitions (Project 1) over the U.S., we will improve and apply 3 advanced 3-D online coupled regional climate-air quality models, WRF/CMAQ, WRF/Chem, and WRF/CAM5, to accurately characterize spatio-temporal variations of pollutants under current and future scenarios. Innovative techniques such as chemical data assimilation, inverse modeling, bias correction, and ensemble modeling coupled with observations from surface networks, satellites, and Project 2, will be used to minimize model biases in inputs, simulations, and outputs. An advanced global Earth system model (CESM/CAM5) will be used to generate boundary conditions for regional simulations. We will examine impacts of modifiable factors such as changes in energy/emissions, climate, land use/cover, and wildfire, individually and collectively. We will analyze compound extreme events and quantify uncertainty in projected changes of extreme air quality episodes.

Expected Results:

The large ensemble of 20-25 year simulations of coupled regional climate-air quality models utilizing petascale supercomputers will produce 3-D concentration estimates of multipollutants along with climate projections and impacts of compound climate extremes on air quality from a diverse set of scenarios over North America during 2008-2052. These scenarios encompass multiple combinations of modifiable factors of future air quality changes consisting of 7+ energy transitions, 2 climate scenarios representing different pathways and carbon policies, 3 global climate models capturing the wide range of large-scale circulation changes, and 3 regional models accounting for air quality-climate feedbacks. Results will provide unprecedented information for Project 4 to estimate health effects and for policy makers to develop robust integrated control strategies to effectively improve air quality and human health.

Supplemental Keywords:

air quality, North America, online coupled air quality and climate models, ozone, long-term global/regional projections, particles, pollution episode, satellite data

Progress and Final Reports:

2016 Progress Report


Main Center Abstract and Reports:

R835871    Solutions for Energy, AiR, Climate and Health Center (SEARCH)

Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
R835871C001 Project 1: Modeling Emissions from Energy Transitions
R835871C002 Project 2: Assessment of Energy-Related Sources, Factors and Transitions Using Novel High-Resolution Ambient Air Monitoring Networks and Personal Monitors
R835871C003 Project 3: Air Quality and Climate Change Modeling: Improving Projections of the Spatial and Temporal Changes of Multipollutants to Enhance Assessment of Public Health in a Changing World
R835871C004 Project 4: Human Health Impacts of Energy Transitions: Today and Under a Changing World