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Controlling biogenic particle mass with NOx and SOx: A Valentine to the Clean Air Act
Carlton, A. AND S. Hunt. Controlling biogenic particle mass with NOx and SOx: A Valentine to the Clean Air Act. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 52(16):9254–9265, (2018). https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.8b01869
To highlight results from the 2013 SOAS field study including the impact the anthropogenic pollution has on the formation of particles from gases emitted naturally and to raise awareness of the datasets available from the effort.
Models that accurately predict atmospheric composition and correctly respond to tested policy scenarios aid air quality managers in the development of effective strategies to protect human health. Controllable emissions from human activity interact with natural emissions from plants and trees from the biosphere through complex chemistry to form ozone (O3) and organic fine particulate matter (PM2.5), criteria air pollutants that induce a variety of adverse health effects. While organic gases emitted from plants and trees are natural, some fraction of the subsequent O3 and PM2.5 is not. Accurate assessment of the extent to which human activity and natural emissions interact to form pollution can be achieved when models are constructed from first principle chemical and physical laws, and tested and evaluated with laboratory and field observations. In the summer of 2013, hundreds of scientists descended on the southeast U.S. to coordinate an atmospheric chemistry campaign with the ultimate goal of understanding complex biosphere-atmosphere interactions, the subsequent formation of O3 and PM2.5, and accurate incorporation of the chemistry into atmospheric models. A main finding from the campaign is that anthropogenic emissions facilitate formation of organic PM2.5 derived from biogenic VOCs. This fraction of PM2.5 is controllable pollution. Mechanistic insight from that campaign is recently incorporated into EPA’s air quality model and changes how atmospheric modeling informs air quality management strategies for PM2.5. Emission reductions in SO2 and NOx are found to reduce non-fossil, presumably biogenic, organic PM2.5 mass concentrations, suggesting existing and planned Federal rules are more successful than current conventional wisdom might suggest.
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Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH
APPLIED SCIENCE & EDUCATION DIVISION