2007 Progress Report: Changes in Climate, Pollutant Emissions, and US Air Quality: An Integrating Modeling Study

EPA Grant Number: R833374
Title: Changes in Climate, Pollutant Emissions, and US Air Quality: An Integrating Modeling Study
Investigators: Adams, Peter , Pandis, Spyros N.
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
EPA Project Officer: Ilacqua, Vito
Project Period: March 1, 2007 through February 28, 2011 (Extended to February 28, 2012)
Project Period Covered by this Report: March 1, 2007 through February 28,2008
Project Amount: $896,596
RFA: Consequences of Global Change For Air Quality (2006) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Global Climate Change , Climate Change , Air

Objective:

The objective of this research is to quantify the effect of changes in climate, emissions, and long-range transport on air quality in the United States.  In the process, we will answer the following questions:
 
•           How will ozone, PM, visibility, as well as mercury and acid deposition be affected by future changes in climate? Will these changes inhibit or assist efforts to improve air quality? Will the effects be similar for different areas, seasons, pollution problems?
•           How important are the contributions of changes in regional meteorology, climate-sensitive  emissions (biogenics, ammonia, etc), and intercontinental transport to the climate-related changes in US air quality?
•           What are the most significant sources of uncertainty in projecting the effect of future climate on air quality? Given the uncertainty in climate, regional meteorology, emissions projections, and processes what is the range of these impacts? How bad is the worst-case scenario? 
•           What is the optimal way to develop a set of climate scenarios broad enough to span the range of possible future climates but concise enough to drive regional CTMs?
 
Specific tasks to be undertaken include the following:
 
Task 1: Development of a Climate/Weather-Sensitive Emissions Processor
Task 2: Extension of Global and Regional CTMs-Organic PM
Task 3: Extension of Global and Regional CTMs-Ultrafine PM
Task 4: Extension of Global and Regional CTMs-Mercury
Task 5: Development of Future Climate and Emissions Scenarios
Task 6: Assessment of global change impact on air quality
Task 7: Sensitivity and uncertainty assessment
 
These objectives, questions, and tasks remain the same as in our original proposal, and further details regarding each are available in the original project proposal.

Progress Summary:

In the time period covered by this report, efforts were focused on Tasks 2, 3, 4, and 6.  The regional air quality model, PMCAMx, was upgraded to predict secondary organic aerosol (SOA) concentrations using the new “basis set” approach.  This new approach predicts organic aerosol (OA) concentrations in better agreement with observations than the previous two-product model.  Higher SOA yields from anthropogenic precursors improve the model performance in urban areas.  Work began in implementing this improved “basis set” formulation for SOA into the global climate model, GISS GCM.

 

To develop a model that can predict ultrafine (particle diameter less than 100 nm) aerosol number concentrations at the urban and regional scales, the TwO-Moment Aerosol Sectional (TOMAS) microphysics algorithm was implemented into PMCAMx.  Box model simulations showed that ternary nucleation theory was best able, of several proposed nucleation theories, to predict the occurrence or absence of nucleation events in Pittsburgh during the Pittsburgh Supersite study.  Work began during this period to evaluate the implications of ternary nucleation on a regional scale in the United States .

 

We have upgraded PMCAMx to simulate mercury initially based on the CAMx mercury module. The module currently includes three forms of mercury: elemental Hg0, reactive Hg2+ and particulate Hg(p) and reactions in the gas and aqueous phases. Reactions included are the gas-phase oxidation of elemental mercury by O3, HCl, H2O2, Cl2, and OH, aqueous-phase oxidation by O3, OH, HO2, HOCl, and OCl-. We are currently testing the module focusing on its sensitivity to boundary conditions in the Eastern US domain. Preliminary results suggest that long-range transport contributes 0.01-0.02 ppb to the Hg2+ concentrations over Pittsburgh .  One of the rather interesting results for the simulation of long range transport of mercury in GRE-CAPS is the importance of the long range transport of mercury through the top boundary of PMCAMx (currently set at 6 km). Roughly 0.005 ppb (25-50% of the total) is contributed by transport through the top of the domain.

 

 

Earlier funding culminated in several papers assessing the overall impact of global change on ozone and PM2.5 levels in the United States .  Work done by John Dawson and Pavan Racherla (see the publication list below) showed that higher temperatures, humidity/oxidant levels, and isoprene emissions will result in an increased frequency and severity of ozone episodes in the United States .  Future projections for PM2.5 concentrations are less clear given its sensitivity to uncertain changes in regional scale precipitation, but higher oxidant levels could significantly raise levels of sulfate PM during the summertime.

Future Activities:

During the upcoming year, we will continue development of the organic aerosol “basis set” approach in our global modeling.  Results for global SOA are being analyzed and the model is being extended to account for the volatilization and aging of primary organic aerosol (POA).  The mercury model will undergo further evaluation at the regional scale, and we will begin replicating it at the global scale as well.  Additionally, we will upgrade the GRE-CAPS global-to-regional scale climate and air quality modeling system by simulating and evaluating additional years of present-day and future climate scenarios.  Another major upgrade will be to implement climate-sensitive emissions processing at the regional scale.

References:

References
Murphy B. N. and S. N. Pandis (2009) Simulating the Formation of Semivolatile Primary and Secondary Organic Aerosol in a Regional Chemical Transport Model, Environmental Science and Technology, submitted.
 
Tsimpidi A. P.,V. A. Karydis, M. Zavala, I. Ulbrich, J. L. Jimenez, and S. N. Pandis (2009) Evaluation of the Volatility Basis-Set Approach for the Simulation of Organic Aerosol Formation in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area, Atmos. Chem. Phys., submitted.


Journal Articles on this Report : 11 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 29 publications 21 publications in selected types All 21 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Dawson JP, Adams PJ, Pandis SN. Sensitivity of PM2.5 to climate in the Eastern US: a modeling case study. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 2007;7(16):4295-4309. R833374 (2007)
R833374 (2008)
R833374 (2010)
R833374 (Final)
R830961 (Final)
  • Full-text: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics-Full Text PDF
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  • Abstract: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics-Abstract
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  • Journal Article Dawson JP, Racherla PN, Lynn BH, Adams PJ, Pandis SN. Simulating present-day and future air quality as climate changes: model evaluation. Atmospheric Environment 2008;42(19):4551-4566. R833374 (2007)
    R833374 (2008)
    R833374 (2010)
    R833374 (Final)
    R830961 (Final)
  • Full-text: ScienceDirect-Full Text HTML
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  • Abstract: ScienceDirect-Abstract
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  • Other: ScienceDirect-Full Text PDF
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  • Journal Article Day MC, Pandis SN. Predicted changes in summertime organic aerosol concentrations due to increased temperatures. Atmospheric Environment 2011;45(36):6546-6556. R833374 (2007)
    R833374 (2008)
    R833374 (2010)
    R833374 (Final)
  • Full-text: ScienceDirect-Full Text HTML
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  • Abstract: ScienceDirect-Abstract
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  • Journal Article Farina SC, Adams PJ, Pandis SN. Modeling global secondary organic aerosol formation and processing with the volatility basis set: implications for anthropogenic secondary organic aerosol. Journal of Geophysical Research–Atmospheres 2010;115(D9):D09202. R833374 (2007)
    R833374 (2008)
    R833374 (2010)
    R833374 (Final)
  • Full-text: Wiley-Full Text HTML
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  • Abstract: Wiley-Abstract
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  • Journal Article Jathar SH, Farina SC, Robinson AL, Adams PJ. The influence of semi-volatile and reactive primary emissions on the abundance and properties of global organic aerosol. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 2011;11(15):7727-7746. R833374 (2007)
    R833374 (2008)
    R833374 (2010)
    R833374 (Final)
    R833748 (2010)
    R833748 (Final)
  • Full-text: ACP-Full Text PDF
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  • Abstract: ACP-Abstract
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  • Journal Article Jung JG, Pandis SN, Adams PJ. Evaluation of nucleation theories in a sulfur-rich environment. Aerosol Science and Technology 2008;42(7):495-504. R833374 (2007)
    R833374 (2008)
    R833374 (2010)
    R833374 (Final)
  • Full-text: AS&T-Full Text PDF
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  • Journal Article Jung J, Fountoukis C, Adams PJ, Pandis SN. Simulation of in situ ultrafine particle formation in the eastern United States using PMCAMx-UF. Journal of Geophysical Research–Atmospheres 2010;115(D3):D03203 (13 pp.). R833374 (2007)
    R833374 (2008)
    R833374 (2010)
    R833374 (Final)
  • Full-text: Wiley-Full Text HTML
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  • Abstract: Wiley-Abstract
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  • Journal Article Lane TE, Donahue NM, Pandis SN. Effect of NOx on secondary organic aerosol concentrations. Environmental Science & Technology 2008;42(16):6022-6027. R833374 (2007)
    R833374 (2008)
    R833374 (2010)
    R833374 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
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  • Abstract: ES&T-Abstract
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  • Journal Article Lane TE, Donahue NM, Pandis SN. Simulating secondary organic aerosol formation using the volatility basis-set approach in a chemical transport model. Atmospheric Environment 2008;42(32):7439-7451. R833374 (2007)
    R833374 (2008)
    R833374 (2010)
    R833374 (Final)
  • Full-text: ScienceDirect-Full Text HTML
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  • Abstract: ScienceDirect-Abstract
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  • Other: ScienceDirect-Full Text PDF
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  • Journal Article Lee YH, Adams PJ. Evaluation of aerosol distributions in the GISS-TOMAS global aerosol microphysics model with remote sensing observations. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 2010;10(5):2129-2144. R833374 (2007)
    R833374 (2008)
    R833374 (2010)
    R833374 (Final)
  • Full-text: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics-Full Text PDF
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  • Abstract: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics-Abstract
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  • Journal Article Racherla PN, Adams PJ. The response of surface ozone to climate change over the Eastern United States. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 2008;8(4):871-885. R833374 (2007)
    R833374 (2008)
    R833374 (2010)
    R833374 (Final)
    R830961 (Final)
  • Full-text: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics-Full Text PDF
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  • Abstract: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics-Abstract
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

    Air quality modeling, smog, particulate matter, general circulation models, biogenic emissions, pollution., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Environmental Monitoring, Atmospheric Sciences, Ecological Risk Assessment, Atmosphere, air quality modeling, particulate matter, atmospheric models

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    Each of the PIs maintains a web site:
     

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2008 Progress Report
  • 2009
  • 2010 Progress Report
  • Final Report