Regional temperature-ozone relationships across the US under multiple climate and emissions scenarios
[Review of ]. JOURNAL OF THE AIR & WASTE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION, 71(10), 1251–1264.
The potential effects of 21st century climate change on ozone (O3) concentrations in the United States are investigated using global climate simulations to drive higher-resolution regional meteorological and chemical transport models. Community Earth System Model (CESM) and Coupled Model version 3 (CM3) simulations of the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 scenario are dynamically downscaled using the Weather Research and Forecasting model, and the resulting meteorological fields are used to drive the Community Multiscale Air Quality model. Air quality is modeled for five 11-year periods using both a 2011 air pollutant emission inventory and a future projection accounting for full implementation of promulgated regulatory controls. Across the U.S., CESM projects daily maximum temperatures during summer to increase 1–4°C by 2050 and 2–7°C by 2095, while CM3 projects warming of 2–7°C by 2050 and 4–11°C by 2095. The meteorological changes have geographically varying impacts on O3 concentrations. Using the 2011 emissions dataset, O3 increases 1–5 ppb in the central Great Plains and Midwest by 2050 and more than 10 ppb by 2095, but it remains unchanged or even decreases in the Gulf Coast, Maine, and parts of the Southwest. Using the projected emissions, modeled increases are attenuated while decreases are amplified, indicating that planned air pollution control measures ameliorate the ozone climate penalty. The relationships between changes in maximum temperature and changes in O3 concentrations are examined spatially and quantified to explore the potential for developing an efficient approach for estimating air quality impacts of other future climate scenarios.Implications: The effects of climate change on ozone air quality in the United States are investigated using two global climate model simulations of a high warming scenario for five decadal periods in the 21st century. Warming summer temperatures simulated under both models lead to higher ozone concentrations in some regions, with the magnitude of the change increasing with temperature over the century. The magnitude and spatial extent of the increases are attenuated under a future emissions projection that accounts for regulatory controls. Regional linear regression relationships are developed as a first step toward development of a reduced form model for efficient estimation of the health impacts attributable to changes in air quality resulting from a climate change scenario.