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Global air quality and climate

Fiore, Arlene M. and Naik , Vaishali and Spracklen, Dominick V. and Steiner , Allison and Unger , Nadine and Prather , Michael and Bergmann, Dan and Cameron-Smith , Philip J. and Cionni , Irene and Collins , William J. and Dalsøren , Stig and Eyring , Veronika and Folberth , Gerd A. and Ginoux, Paul and Horowitz, Larry W. and Josse , Béatrice and Lamarque , Jean-François and MacKenzie, Ian A. and Nagashima , Tatsuya and O'Connor , Fiona M. and Righi , Mattia and Rumbold, Steven T. and Shindell, Drew T. and Skeie , Ragnhild B. and Sudo , Kengo and Szopa, Sophie and Takemura, Toshihiko and Zeng, Guang (2012) Global air quality and climate. Chemical Society Reviews, 41, pp. 6663-6683. DOI: 10.1039/C2CS35095E.

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Official URL: http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2012/cs/c2cs35095e


Emissions of air pollutants and their precursors determine regional air quality and can alter climate. Climate change can perturb the long-range transport, chemical processing, and local meteorology that influence air pollution. We review the implications of projected changes in methane (CH4), ozone precursors (O3), and aerosols for climate (expressed in terms of the radiative forcing metric or changes in global surface temperature) and hemispheric-to-continental scale air quality. Reducing the O3 precursor CH4 would slow near-term warming by decreasing both CH4 and tropospheric O3. Uncertainty remains as to the net climate forcing from anthropogenic nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, which increase tropospheric O3 (warming) but also increase aerosols and decrease CH4 (both cooling). Anthropogenic emissions of carbon monoxide (CO) and non-CH4 volatile organic compounds (NMVOC) warm by increasing both O3 and CH4. Radiative impacts from secondary organic aerosols (SOA) are poorly understood. Black carbon emission controls, by reducing the absorption of sunlight in the atmosphere and on snow and ice, have the potential to slow near-term warming, but uncertainties in coincident emissions of reflective (cooling) aerosols and poorly constrained cloud indirect effects confound robust estimates of net climate impacts. Reducing sulfate and nitrate aerosols would improve air quality and lessen interference with the hydrologic cycle, but lead to warming. A holistic and balanced view is thus needed to assess how air pollution controls influence climate; a first step towards this goal involves estimating net climate impacts from individual emission sectors. Modeling and observational analyses suggest a warming climate degrades air quality (increasing surface O3 and particulate matter) in many populated regions, including during pollution episodes. Prior Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios (SRES) allowed unconstrained growth, whereas the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios assume uniformly an aggressive reduction, of air pollutant emissions. New estimates from the current generation of chemistry–climate models with RCP emissions thus project improved air quality over the next century relative to those using the IPCC SRES scenarios. These two sets of projections likely bracket possible futures. We find that uncertainty in emission-driven changes in air quality is generally greater than uncertainty in climate-driven changes. Confidence in air quality projections is limited by the reliability of anthropogenic emission trajectories and the uncertainties in regional climate responses, feedbacks with the terrestrial biosphere, and oxidation pathways affecting O3 and SOA.

Document Type:Article
Title:Global air quality and climate
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Fiore, Arlene M. Columbia Univ., Palisades, NY, USA
Naik , Vaishali UCAR, Princeton, NJ, USA
Spracklen, Dominick V. Univ. of Leeds, Leeds, UK
Steiner , Allison Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Unger , Nadine Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT, USA
Prather , Michael Univ. of California, Irvine, CA, USA
Bergmann, Dan Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Livermore, CA, USA
Cameron-Smith , Philip J. Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Livermore, CA, USA
Cionni , Irene ENEA, Bologna, I
Collins , William J. Met Office, Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK
Dalsøren , Stig CICERO, Oslo, N
Eyring , Veronika DLR
Folberth , Gerd A. Met Office, Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK
Ginoux, Paul NOAA, Princeton, NJ, USA
Horowitz, Larry W. NOAA, Princeton, NJ, USA
Josse , Béatrice CNCR, Toulouse, F
Lamarque , Jean-FrançoisNCAR,Boulder, CO, USA
MacKenzie, Ian A. The Univ. of Edinburgh, UK
Nagashima , TatsuyaNational Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, J
O'Connor , Fiona M. Met Office, Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK
Righi , Mattia DLR
Rumbold, Steven T. Met Office, Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK
Shindell, Drew T. NASA, New York, NY, USA
Skeie , Ragnhild B. CICERO, Oslo, N
Sudo , Kengo Nagoya Univ., Nagoya, J
Szopa, Sophie CEA/CNRS/UVSQ, Gif-Sur-Yvette, F
Takemura, Toshihiko Kyushu Univ., Fukuoka, J
Zeng, Guang National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Lauder, NZ
Journal or Publication Title:Chemical Society Reviews
Refereed publication:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 6663-6683
Keywords:chemistry-climate, air quality, climate change, modelling
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport, Aeronautics, Space and Transport, Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Transport, Space, Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:Transport System, Earth Observation, ATM and Operation
DLR - Research area:Transport, Raumfahrt, Aeronautics
DLR - Program:V VS - Verkehrssystem, R EO - Erdbeobachtung, L AO - Air Traffic Management and Operation
DLR - Research theme (Project):V - Projekt Verkehrsentwicklung und Umwelt, R - Vorhaben Atmosphären- und Klimaforschung, L - Climate, Weather and Environment
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Atmospheric Dynamics
Deposited By: Jana Freund
Deposited On:24 Sep 2012 14:17
Last Modified:04 Apr 2013 16:38

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