2012 Progress Report: 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
Current Investigators: Wu, Shiliang , McCarty, Jessica
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 Period Covered by this Report: June 1, 2012 through May 31,2013
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

Objective:

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; and (d) lightning activities and associated wildfires.

Progress Summary:

Major accomplishments in year 1 (this report period) include:

(a). We have compiled the observational datasets for meteorological fields available for the past six decades (ca. 1950-2010) and analyzed the long-term evolution of extreme meteorology (such as heat waves and temperature inversion) that has relevance to air quality. We have examined the possible trends in extreme air pollution meteorology at various spatial (regional, continental and global) scales by combining modeling and statistical analysis. Compared to the earlier decades (1950-1979), we have found significant increases in the occurances of temperature inversion in the more recent decades (1980-2009) over large areas around the world except for the high latitudes (polar regions). Many regions show more than 50% increases in temperature inversion events, which would favor severe air pollution episodes. Statistical analysis focusing on specific sites (grid-boxes) have shown that these increasing trends in temperature inversion are statistically significant.

(b). We have set up the modeling system to be used in this project, which includes a global GCM (the GISS modelE), a chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem), and a fire simulation model (FARSITE). A suite of model evaluations, including comparison against observations and case studies have been carried out for the modeling system. The GISS GCM simulation results show good agreement with the observed climatology of some extreme air pollution meteorological fields, but some discrepancies have also been identified and are being investigated. Better treatment of carbonaceous aerosols and ozone column in the GEOS-Chem has been found to improve the model simulation for ozone and particulate matter air quality. With the FARSITE model, we have successfully validated the carbon emissions from a historic fire (the 2002 Biscuit Fire) and it will be used to examine the changes in wildfire emissions under various climate change scenarios.

Future Activities:

  1. We will continue model evaluation by comparing model simulated extreme meteorological events against observations in the past decades. This includes the seasonal variation, interannual variation as well the long-term trends in extreme meteorology;
  2. Simulate climate change for the future decades with particular attention to the changes in extreme meteorological events;
  3. Calculate the changes in wildfire emissions of air pollutants in response to changes in lightning activities and implement the emissions associated with lightning-ignited wildfires in to the chemical transport model;
  4. Evaluate the consequences of changing extreme meteorological events on air quality and atmospheric chemistry; and
  5. Continue our efforts in widely distributing project findings and sharing data generated from this project through i) peer-reviewed publications; ii) national and international conferences and workshops; and iii) collaboration with other research groups on related topics and research questions.


Journal Articles on this Report : 4 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 42 publications 17 publications in selected types All 17 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Kumar A, Wu S, Weise MF, Honrath R, Owen RC, Helmig D, Kramer L, Val Martin M, Li Q. Free-troposphere ozone and carbon monoxide over the North Atlantic for 2001-2011. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 2013;13(24):12537-12547. R835189 (2012)
R835189 (2013)
R835189 (2015)
R835189 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Thelen B, French NHF, Koziol BW, Billmire M, Owen RC, Johnson J, Ginsberg M, Loboda T, Wu SL. Modeling acute respiratory illness during the 2007 San Diego wildland fires using a coupled emissions-transport system and generalized additive modeling. Environmental Health 2013;12:94 (22 pp.). R835189 (2012)
    R835189 (2013)
    R835189 (2015)
    R835189 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Wai KM, Wu S, Kumar A, Liao H. Seasonal variability and long-term evolution of tropospheric composition in the tropics and Southern Hemisphere. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 2014;14(10):4859-4874. R835189 (2012)
    R835189 (2013)
    R835189 (2015)
    R835189 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Zhang B, Owen RC, Perlinger JA, Kumar A, Wu S, Val Martin M, Kramer L, Helmig D, Honrath RE. A semi-Lagrangian view of ozone production tendency in North American outflow in the summers of 2009 and 2010. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 2014;14(5):2267-2287. R835189 (2012)
    R835189 (2013)
    R835189 (2015)
    R835189 (Final)
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

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

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
    2013 Progress Report
    2014 Progress Report
    2015 Progress Report
    Final Report