A Coupled Measurement-Modeling Approach to Improve Biogenic Emission Estimates: Application to Future Air Quality Assessments

EPA Grant Number: R831454
Title: A Coupled Measurement-Modeling Approach to Improve Biogenic Emission Estimates: Application to Future Air Quality Assessments
Investigators: Mao, Huiting , Chen, Ming , Griffin, Robert J. , Sive, Barkley , Talbot, Robert , Varner, Ruth
Institution: University of New Hampshire - Main Campus
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2006
Project Amount: $750,000
RFA: Consequences of Global Change for Air Quality: Spatial Patterns in Air Pollution Emissions (2003) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Global Climate Change , Climate Change , Air


This investigation is focused on the northeastern U.S. with overall objectives to: 1) predict changes in regional climate that will influence natural biogenic emissions to the atmosphere and air quality; 2) quantify the impact of regional climate change on plant ecosystem composition; 3) estimate the regional impact of a changing plant ecosystem on biogenic emissions; and 4) estimate the impact of changes in regional climate and plant ecosystem on aerosol loading, O3, NOx, hydrocarbons, and the oxidative capacity of the atmosphere.

The results of our research will quantify changes in the level of important atmospheric pollutants due to future climate change, and these can be used to assess their societal impacts on human health and key economic factors.


To meet these objectives, we will employ an integrated approach using field measurements and modeling to investigate the impacts of biogenic emissions and air quality from changes in regional climate in a future scenario (IPCC A1) in the northeastern U.S. Improvements to the biogenic emission component of the emission model SMOKE will play a central role in coupling the measurement and modeling aspects of this investigation.

Measurements of biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs), primary organic aerosols (POAs), and secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) will be conducted in present day and enhanced CO2 environments at the FACTS-1 Research Facility in Duke Forest, North Carolina to develop a speciated source profile, emission rate, and establish empirical relationships with atmospheric physical parameters. Continuous measurements of these same constituents in New England at the UNH Atmospheric Investigation, Regional Modeling, Analysis and Prediction (AIRMAP) field site, Thompson Farm, will also be utilized to obtain spatial and interannual variability in the suite of chemical species of interest in a higher latitude environment (i.e., central New England).

We will simulate regional climate and vegetation in the northeastern U.S. using an on-line Regional Climate Modeling System that couples soil, biospheric and atmospheric processes. It will be driven by the 21st century run generated by the Climate System Model at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The emission model SMOKE will be modified to account for the changes in biomass variables and explicitly output emission fluxes of speciated monoterpenes and first-order estimates of primary organic aerosols. SMOKE will generate gridded emission data resulting from areal, point, mobile, and biogenic sources for climatic periods of interest. These will be used to drive the photochemical model CMAQ for assessment of climate impacts on air quality parameters including biogenic aerosols. The CMAQ organic aerosol module will be replaced by the Model to Predict the Multi-phase Partitioning of Organics that allows for simultaneous partitioning of secondary organic species to both aqueous and condensed organic phases. Together these state-of-the-art measurements and models will provide the best possible realistic simulations of the impact of future climate change on biogenic emissions and air quality in the northeastern U.S.

Expected Results:

We will address fundamental scientific questions concerning the chemical and physical properties of POAs and SOAs, identify the BVOCs that form SOAs, and determine the sensitivity of VOCs, POAs, and SOAs to changes in environmental conditions. Our work will provide a solid foundation for building reliable emission estimates of biogenic species to support advanced modeling studies and add confidence to future assessments of climate and air quality.

The proposed investigation will provide a critical scientific basis for future emission control strategies to effectively control the levels of ozone and its precursors as well as fine particles that are health hazards to living beings. This study will help achieve more cost-effective allocation of federal and state environmental protection resources and provide an improved understanding of health risk and valuation.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 31 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 8 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

regional climate change, vegetation type, organic particulate matter, NMHC's, chemical transport, O3 precursors, EPA Region 1, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Air Pollutants, Air Pollution Effects, Atmosphere, Atmospheric Sciences, Chemistry, Environmental Engineering, Monitoring/Modeling, tropospheric ozone, Global Climate Change, aerosol formation, air quality model, air sampling, airborne aerosols, ambient aerosol, ambient air pollution, atmospheric aerosol particles, atmospheric chemistry, atmospheric models, atmospheric monitoring, atmospheric particulate matter, atmospheric transport, biogenic ozone precursors, climate models, climate variability, climatic influence, ecological models, environmental measurement, global change, greenhouse gases, meteorology., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, particulate matter, Air Quality, Environmental Chemistry, Air Pollutants, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Monitoring/Modeling, Environmental Monitoring, Atmospheric Sciences, Ecological Risk Assessment, Atmosphere, ambient aerosol, ecosystem models, anthropogenic stress, atmospheric dispersion models, aerosol formation, atmospheric particulate matter, environmental measurement, meteorology, climatic influence, emissions monitoring, air quality models, ozone, global change, modeling, air quality model, atmospheric transport, greenhouse gases, climate models, atmospheric aerosol particles, airborne aerosols, biogenic emission modeling, environmental stress, climate model, ecological models, greenhouse gas, air quality assessments, aerosols, atmospheric chemistry, climate variability, Global Climate Change, ambient air pollution, atmospheric models

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2004 Progress Report
  • 2005 Progress Report
  • Final Report