2008 Progress Report: Global Change and Air Pollution (GCAP) Phase 2: Implications for U.S. Air Quality and Mercury Deposition of Multiple Climate and Global Emission Scenarios for 2000-2050

EPA Grant Number: R833370
Title: Global Change and Air Pollution (GCAP) Phase 2: Implications for U.S. Air Quality and Mercury Deposition of Multiple Climate and Global Emission Scenarios for 2000-2050
Investigators: Jacob, Daniel J. , Byun, Daewon , Fu, Joshua , Mickley, Loretta J. , Rind, David , Seinfeld, John , Streets, David G.
Institution: Harvard University , Argonne National Laboratory , California Institute of Technology , NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies , University of Houston , University of Tennessee - Knoxville
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: May 1, 2007 through April 30, 2011
Project Period Covered by this Report: May 1, 2008 through May 1,2009
Project Amount: $900,000
RFA: Consequences of Global Change For Air Quality (2006) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Global Climate Change , Climate Change , Air

Objective:

The overarching goal of GCAP Phase 2 is to better quantify and understand the effects of global change on air quality and mercury deposition in the United States over the coming decades. In GCAP Phase 1, also funded by the EPA, we developed a powerful set of modeling tools with which to attack this goal. We constructed interfaces between the GISS general circulation model (GCM), the GEOS-Chem global model of atmospheric composition, and the MM5/CMAQ regional air quality model. In GCAP Phase 2 we are exploiting these tools to address the following questions:

  • How will 2000-2050 global change affect U.S. air quality under different greenhouse and anthropogenic emission scenarios, and what levels of confidence can be applied to model results?
  • How will 2000-2050 changes in global anthropogenic emissions affect the intercontinental transport of air pollutants to the United States, and what will be the effects on U.S. air quality?
  • How will 2000-2050 changes in anthropogenic emissions of mercury, together with changes in climate, affect deposition of mercury to U.S. ecosystems?

Progress Summary:

2a. Completed work. In Phase 2 of GCAP, we have so far completed four studies using the GEOS-Chem model driven by meteorology archived from the GISS GCM. We have validated present-day surface aerosol concentrations calculated by GEOS-Chem over the United States, paying special attention to the contribution of secondary organic aerosol [Liao et al., 2007]. We have investigated the effects of 2000-2050 global change on ozone air quality in the United States [Wu et al., 2008a] and on intercontinental ozone pollution and the policy-relevant background ozone in the United States [Wu et al., 2008b]. Finally, we have examined the effects of global change on future sulfate-nitrate-ammonium aerosol levels in the United States [Pye et al., 2009]. These studies all focused on the A1B emissions scenarios for greenhouse gases, primary aerosol, and ozone and aerosol precursors. In addition to the global model studies, we have constructed the first-ever mercury emission inventories for a range of scenarios in 2050 [Streets et al., 2009]. This work was featured in the Environmental News section of the April 2009 edition of Environmental Science & Technology: Cooney, C.M., A range of possible futures for mercury emissions, Environ. Sci. Technol., 43, 2663, 2009.

2b. Ongoing work. Ongoing work in Phase 2 of GCAP includes validation of the model sensitivity of ozone air quality to temperature through comparison with observations [Yoshitomi et al., ms in preparation]. We are also nearing completion on a study of the observed sensitivity of surface PM concentrations to a suite of meteorological variables in the United States [Tai et al., ms. in preparation]. Results from this study will be extremely useful for validating model studies of the effect of climate change on PM. Meanwhile, work is ongoing to improve calculations of organic PM in GEOS-Chem and to examine the effects of 2000-2050 global change on future organic PM levels [Pye et al., in progress]. We have applied the Streets et al. [2009] mercury emission scenarios to a simulation of 2000-2050 changes in mercury deposition [Corbitt et al., in progress]. Finally, to study the effects of global change on a finer scale, we are investigating how best to downscale global-scale meteorology from the GISS GCM with MM5 [Byun et al., in progress], and we are using CMAQ to downscale the GISS/GEOS-Chem model results to a finer representation of the response of surface ozone to future global change [Fu et al., in progress; Byun et al., in progress]. See also Results section 5b.

Future Activities:

Ongoing work in Phase 2 of GCAP includes the following studies. We provide brief descriptions of each study.

  • Investigation of observed ozone-temperature relationships as an indicator of the sensitivity of air quality to climate change. Our results show that the calculated sensitivity of surface ozone concentrations to temperature in the southeast United States is sensitive to the fate of isoprene nitrate, a product of isoprene oxidation, by as much as ±2 ppb/K. Preliminary results also suggest that future surface ozone concentrations in the Southeast may be governed in large part by factors other than temperature [Yoshitomi et al., ms in preparation].
  • Correlations between PM and meteorology in the United States and relation to climate change: a statistical study. Using an 11-year record of observed meteorology and surface PM concentrations over the United States, we find that daily variation in meteorology can explain up to 50% of daily PM variability, and can strongly affect concentrations of total PM and its components. Temperature and precipitation are found to be the most significant predictors for total PM in most parts of the United States. [Tai et al., ms. in preparation]
  • Validation of GEOS-Chem simulations of organic PM. At Caltech, current work focuses on improving the calculation of organic PM and examining future organic PM levels. The GEOS-Chem/GISS framework is being applied to separate the effects of changes in climate from changes in emissions. Areas of exploration include the semivolatile nature of primary organic PM, the potential of low volatility organic carbon to form secondary organic PM, and estimates of secondary organic PM from isoprene. [Pye, in progress]
  • Atmospheric mercury in a changing climate. We are conducting 2000-2050 GEOS-Chem simulations in the coupled atmosphere-ocean-land system to investigate the effect of changing emissions and climate on mercury deposition to the United States and elsewhere in the world [Corbitt, in progress].
  • Investigation of downscaling techniques. Part 1: Tropopause algorithm. To improve linkage between the GEOS-Chem and CMAQ, Fu and co-workers at U Tennessee have implemented a new scheme that uses the vertical gradient in ozone calculated by GEOS-Chem to identify stratospheric air in the boundary conditions applied to CMAQ. By filtering out the ozone-rich stratospheric air at the boundaries, CMAQ calculates lower, more realistic concentrations of ozone at the surface. [Fu et al., submitted, 2009.]
  • Investigation of downscaling techniques. Part 2: Within-domain nudging. Byun and coworkers at U Tennesee have developed an interface tool, GISS2MM5, which performs vertical interpolation and horizontal regridding of the global-scale meteorology for use in MM5. They have also explored the use of within-domain nudging in order to maintain dynamic consistency between GISS, the MM5 108-km simulation, and MM5 36-km simulation.
  • Effects of 2000-2050 climate change on regional air quality in the United States. Using the MM5/CMAQ modeling system, the U Houston and U Tennessee groups are both investigating the response of surface ozone to 2000-2050 A1B climate change. Although the two groups are using the same meteorological and chemical boundary conditions from GISS and GEOS-Chem, preliminary results from the two groups are not consistent. While U Houston calculates increases in MDA8 surface ozone concentrations across the eastern US of 2-10 ppb, U Tennessee calculates decreasing ozone in this region. We are investigating this and other discrepancies. The U Houston group is also examining the sensitivity of PM to 2000-2050 climate change.


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

Other project views: All 52 publications 24 publications in selected types All 24 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Fu JS, Streets DG, Jang CJ, Hao J, He K, Wang L, Zhang Q. Modeling regional/urban ozone and particulate matter in Beijing, China. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association 2009;59(1):37-44. R833370 (2008)
R833370 (2009)
R833370 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
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  • Abstract: JAWMA-Abstract
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  • Other: University of Tennessee-Full Text PDF
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  • Journal Article Pye HOT, Liao H, Wu S, Mickley LJ, Jacob DJ, Henze DK, Seinfeld JH. Effect of changes in climate and emissions on future sulfate-nitrate-ammonium aerosol levels in the United States. Journal of Geophysical Research--Atmospheres 2009;114(D1):D01205 (18 pp.). R833370 (2008)
    R833370 (2009)
    R833370 (Final)
    R830959 (Final)
  • Full-text: Wiley-Full Text PDF
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  • Other: Wiley-Full Text PDF
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  • Journal Article Streets DG, Zhang Q, Wu Y. Projections of global mercury emissions in 2050. Environmental Science & Technology 2009;43(8):2983-2988. R833370 (2008)
    R833370 (2009)
    R833370 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
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  • Abstract: ES&T-Abstract
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  • Journal Article Wu S, Mickley LJ, Leibensperger EM, Jacob DJ, Rind D, Streets DG. Effects of 2000-2050 global change on ozone air quality in the United States. Journal of Geophysical Research--Atmospheres 2008;113(D6):D06302 (12 pp.). R833370 (2007)
    R833370 (2008)
    R833370 (2009)
    R833370 (Final)
    R830959 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Wu S, Mickley LJ, Jacob DJ, Rind D, Streets DG. Effects of 2000-2050 changes in climate and emissions on global tropospheric ozone and the policy-relevant background surface ozone in the United States. Journal of Geophysical Research--Atmospheres 2008;113(D18):D18312 (12 pp.). R833370 (2008)
    R833370 (2009)
    R833370 (Final)
    R830959 (Final)
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

    chemical transport, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides, sulfates, organics, pollution prevention, environmental chemistry, modeling, climate models, tropospheric ozone, tropospheric aerosol, mercury, mercury deposition,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Environmental Monitoring, Ecology and Ecosystems, Atmosphere, air quality modeling, mercury deposition, Baysian analysis, climate models, Global Climate Change

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2007 Progress Report
  • 2009 Progress Report
  • Final Report