Impacts of Climate-induced Changes in Extreme Events on Ozone and Particulate Matter Air Quality

EPA Grant Number: R835189
Title: Impacts of Climate-induced Changes in Extreme Events on Ozone and Particulate Matter Air Quality
Investigators: Wu, Shiliang , McCarty, Jessica , Owen, R. Chris
Institution: Michigan Technological University , University of Louisville
EPA Project Officer: Callan, Richard
Project Period: June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2015 (Extended to May 31, 2017)
Project Amount: $374,960
RFA: Extreme Event Impacts on Air Quality and Water Quality with a Changing Global Climate (2011) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Water Quality , Climate Change , Air , Water


This study aims at improving our understanding and quantification of the potential effects of climate change on extreme meteorological events and air quality. Climate-induced changes in the following extreme events and their consequences for ozone and particulate matter (PM) air quality will be investigated: (a) heat waves; (b) temperature inversion; (c) atmospheric stagnation; (d) lightning activities and associated wildfires.


We will first examine air pollution meteorology data records for the past decades (ca. 1950- 201 0). Particular attention will be given to long-term trends in (a) heat waves; (b) vertical temperature profiles and temperature inversion; (c) convective mass fluxes and atmospheric ventilation; and (d) lightning flashes and lightning-ignited wildfires. The impacts on air quality from any identified long-term trends will be evaluated with atmospheric models. We will also carry out model simulations for climate and air quality in the coming decades (2010-2050). We will examine the 2010-2050 changes in (a) air pollution meteorology with a focus on extreme events as identified above; (b) probability distributions of ozone and PM air quality with a focus on extreme pollution events and the underlying processes contributing to these events.

Expected Results:

Historical data records of air pollution meteorology from multiple datasets will be compiled and analyzed to identify possible trends in extreme events. Changes in climate and air quality between 2010 and 2050 will be simulated with a suite of models. The consequential effects on ozone and PM air quality associated with any long-term changes in extreme events will be evaluated. This project represents the first-ever attempt to examine and quantify the potential impacts on air quality from possible climate-induced changes in temperature inversion, heat waves, emissions associated with lightning and lightning-caused wildfires.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 19 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

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

Supplemental Keywords:

Climate change, air pollution meteorology, air quality, ozone, particulate matter, extreme events;

Progress and Final Reports:

2012 Progress Report
2013 Progress Report
2014 Progress Report
2015 Progress Report