2007 Progress Report: Guiding Future Air Quality Management in California: Sensitivity to Changing Climate

EPA Grant Number: R830964
Title: Guiding Future Air Quality Management in California: Sensitivity to Changing Climate
Investigators: Harley, Robert A. , Cohen, Ronald , Goldstein, Allen H.
Current Investigators: Harley, Robert A. , Cohen, Ronald , Goldstein, Allen H. , Steiner, Allison L , Tonse, Shaheen
Institution: University of California - Berkeley
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: March 22, 2003 through March 23, 2006 (Extended to March 22, 2009)
Project Period Covered by this Report: March 22, 2007 through March 21,2008
Project Amount: $900,000
RFA: Assessing the Consequences of Global Change for Air Quality: Sensitivity of U.S. Air Quality to Climate Change and Future Global Impacts (2002) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Global Climate Change , Air Quality and Air Toxics , Climate Change , Air

Objective:

Our overall objective is to assess the impact of changes in regional and global climate on air quality in California. We are using a combination of model and observation-based analyses to determine the effects on air quality of changes in temperature, moisture, pollutant inflows from the Pacific Ocean, and future changes in emissions in Central California.

Progress Summary:

During the current project period, two new research papers were published, and in addition a paper listed as accepted last year was published. We made numerous conference and seminar presentations describing our research findings.

In recently published work, we evaluated the contributions of different types of volatile organic compounds (VOC) to atmospheric reactivity, and compared model predictions with observations. We found that more attention is needed to the issue of including direct emissions of oxygenated VOC in emission inventories, and measurements of ambient concentrations of oxygenated VOC including formaldehyde and other aldehydes (as opposed to hydrocarbons which are more frequently measured).

In another paper, we studied the measured changes in the distribution of nitrogen-containing gases in the atmosphere as a function of temperature. Species included in the field measurements were NO, NO2, nitric acid, peroxy nitrates, and alkyl nitrates (the sum of these species taken together is referred to as NOy). The decrease in peroxy nitrates as a function of temperature was less than expected from thermal decomposition alone, and it is suggested that other factors such as increased biogenic VOC emissions and resulting higher levels of hydroxyl radical (OH) on hotter days are important contributing factors to the observed distribution of NOy species as a function of temperature.

In continuing work, we are studying the effects of temperature on the distribution (speciation) of oxidized forms of nitrogen in the atmosphere. We have modified the SAPRC99 description of atmospheric chemistry used in air quality models, to add missing temperature dependence to the formation of alkyl nitrates, and we are currently revisiting our assessment of climate change impacts and reassessing model performance using the revised chemical mechanism that has the missing temperature dependencies added.

 

 

Future Activities:

During the final year of the project, we will conduct further data analysis and modeling of air quality under climate change scenarios. In particular, we aim to complete the analysis of climate change and atmospheric chemistry effects of the revisions we made to the SAPRC99 chemical mechanism to include missing temperature dependencies in the formation (yield) of alkyl nitrates from RO2 + NO reactions. Also we are extending the analysis of anthropogenic source contributions to observed VOC concentrations (Rubin et al., JGR 2006; conducted with EPA support as part of the current research) to consider additional observed data collected in summer 2005 at Riverside, California.


Journal Articles on this Report : 5 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 27 publications 8 publications in selected types All 8 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Day DA, Wooldridge PJ, Cohen RC. Observations of the effects of temperature on atmospheric HNO3, ΣANs, ΣPNs, and NOx: evidence for a temperature-dependent HOx source. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 2008;8(6):1867-1879. R830964 (2007)
R830964 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Rubin JI, Kean AJ, Harley RA, Millet DB, Goldstein AH. Temperature dependence of volatile organic compound evaporative emissions from motor vehicles. Journal of Geophysical Research--Atmospheres 2006;111(D3):D03305 (7 pp.). R830964 (2005)
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  • Journal Article Steiner AL, Tonse S, Cohen RC, Goldstein AH, Harley RA. Influence of future climate and emissions on regional air quality in California. Journal of Geophysical Research--Atmospheres2006;111(D18):D18303 (22 pp.). R830964 (2006)
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  • Journal Article Steiner AL, Tonse S, Cohen RC, Goldstein AH, Harley RA. Biogenic 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol increases regional ozone and HOx sources. Geophysical Research Letters 2007;34(15):L15806 (6 pp.). R830964 (2006)
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  • Journal Article Steiner AL, Cohen RC, Harley RA, Tonse S, Millet DB, Schade GW, Goldstein AH. VOC reactivity in central California: comparing an air quality model to ground-based measurements. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 2008;8(2):351-368. R830964 (2007)
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

    tropospheric ozone, global climate, California (CA), atmospheric chemistry, modeling, biogenic emissions, mobile source emissions , RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, particulate matter, Air Quality, Air Pollutants, Chemistry, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Monitoring/Modeling, Environmental Monitoring, tropospheric ozone, Atmospheric Sciences, Atmosphere, anthropogenic stress, aerosol formation, ambient aerosol, atmospheric particulate matter, atmospheric dispersion models, environmental measurement, meteorology, climatic influence, global change, ozone, air quality models, climate, air pollution models, air quality model, air sampling, climate models, greenhouse gases, airborne aerosols, atmospheric aerosol particles, atmospheric transport, biogenic ozone precursors, environmental stress, atmospheric monitoring, ecological models, California, aerosols, atmospheric models, Global Climate Change, atmospheric chemistry, ambient air pollution

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2004 Progress Report
  • 2005 Progress Report
  • 2006 Progress Report
  • Final Report