Linking ozone pollution and climate change: The case for controlling methane

Fiore, Arlene M.; Jacob, Daniel J.; Field, Brendan D.; Streets, David G.; Fernandes, Suneeta D.; Jang, Carey

Methane (CH4) emission controls are found to be a powerful lever for reducing both global warming and air pollution via decreases in background tropospheric ozone (O3). Reducing anthropogenic CH4 emissions by 50% nearly halves the incidence of U.S. high-O3 events and lowers global radiative forcing by 0.37 W m−2 (0.30 W m−2 from CH4, 0.07 W m−2 from O3) in a 3-D model of tropospheric chemistry. A 2030 simulation based upon IPCC A1 emissions projections shows a longer and more intense U.S. O3 pollution season despite domestic emission reductions, indicating that intercontinental transport and a rising O3 background should be considered when setting air quality goals.


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Also Published In

Geophysical Research Letters

More About This Work

Academic Units
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Ocean and Climate Physics
American Geophysical Union
Published Here
November 19, 2015