Impact of Climate Change on U.S. Air Quality Using Multi-scale Modeling with the MM5/SMOKE/CMAQ System

EPA Grant Number: R830962
Title: Impact of Climate Change on U.S. Air Quality Using Multi-scale Modeling with the MM5/SMOKE/CMAQ System
Investigators: Lamb, Brian , Guenther, Alex , Mass, Clifford , O'Neill, Susan
Current Investigators: Lamb, Brian , Guenther, Alex , Mass, Clifford , McKenzie, Donald , Larkin, Sim , O'Neill, Susan
Institution: Washington State University , USDA , National Center for Atmospheric Research , University of Washington
Current Institution: Washington State University , National Center for Atmospheric Research , U.S. Department of Agriculture - New Orleans Laboratory , USDA , University of Washington
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: March 23, 2003 through March 22, 2006 (Extended to August 14, 2007)
Project Amount: $900,000
RFA: Assessing the Consequences of Global Change for Air Quality: Sensitivity of U.S. Air Quality to Climate Change and Future Global Impacts (2002) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air , Air Quality and Air Toxics , Climate Change


Global warming, population growth, and land use change are closely interrelated forces that may cause significant changes in air quality within the US. To assess the potential impact of global change requires a comprehensive numerical modeling approach where the effects of global change are explicitly incorporated in the modeling approach.


We have designed a modeling program to assess global change impact on US air quality by specifically answering the following questions: 1) How does global warming affect air quality on regional and urban scales? Directly through warmer temperatures? Indirectly through changes in circulation patterns and changes in land cover? 2) How does land use change due to increased urbanization, global warming, or intentional management (economic forces) affect air quality? 3) How does fire and fire management affect regional air quality and regional haze in the future? 4) What is the role of Asian emissions on US air quality and how does global change influence the impact of Asian emissions? 5) How sensitive is predicted air quality to globally forced boundary conditions (meteorological and chemical)? 6) How sensitive are air quality simulations to changes in emission scenarios, both biogenic and anthropogenic? 7) How sensitive are air quality simulations to uncertainties associated with wildfire projections and with land management scenarios?


We plan to answer these questions with a series of nested domain MM5/SMOKE/CMAQ simulations for a period centered on the year 2050. We will use GCM and MOZART output to provide IC/BC for the simulations and we will use emission projection scenarios available from EPA and the literature. Our primary focus will be on changes in air quality—measured primarily in terms of photochemical pollutants and particulates—and we will focus on two specific regons: the Pacific Northwest and the northern Midwest.

Expected Results:

The primary end products of this work will be: 1) quantitative estimates of changes in regional and urban air quality due to the direct and indirect effects of global warming; and 2) associated sensitivity estimates for the effects of uncertainties in climate predictions and emission scenarios. The results of this work will help guide our response to potential climate change and, thus, provide more cost-effective allocation of federal and state environmental protection resources in the future.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 32 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 6 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

climate change, air quality modeling, tropospheric ozone, regional haze, particulate matter, aerosol, biogenic emissions, wildland fire, anthropogenic emissions, smoke, Pacific Northwest, northern Midwest, prescribed fire., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, particulate matter, Air Pollutants, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Chemistry, Monitoring/Modeling, Environmental Monitoring, Atmospheric Sciences, Atmosphere, anthropogenic stress, aerosol formation, ambient aerosol, environmental measurement, meteorology, global change, ozone, climate models, greenhouse gases, airborne aerosols, aerosols, atmospheric models, Global Climate Change, atmospheric chemistry

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2003
  • 2004 Progress Report
  • 2005 Progress Report
  • 2006 Progress Report
  • Final Report