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The influence of ozone precursor emissions from four world regions on tropospheric composition and radiative climate forcing

Fry, Meridith M.; Naik, Vaishali; West, J. Jason; Schwarzkopf, M. Daniel; Fiore, Arlene M.; Collins, William J.; Dentener, Frank J.; Shindell, Drew T.; Atherton, Cyndi; Bergmann, Daniel; Duncan, Bryan N.; Hess, Peter; MacKenzie, Ian A.; Marmer, Elina; Schultz, Martin G.; Szopa, Sophie; Wild, Oliver; Zeng, Guang

Ozone (O3) precursor emissions influence regional and global climate and air quality through changes in tropospheric O3 and oxidants, which also influence methane (CH4) and sulfate aerosols (SO42−). We examine changes in the tropospheric composition of O3, CH4, SO42− and global net radiative forcing (RF) for 20% reductions in global CH4 burden and in anthropogenic O3 precursor emissions (NOx, NMVOC, and CO) from four regions (East Asia, Europe and Northern Africa, North America, and South Asia) using the Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution Source-Receptor global chemical transport model (CTM) simulations, assessing uncertainty (mean ± 1 standard deviation) across multiple CTMs. We evaluate steady state O3responses, including long-term feedbacks via CH4. With a radiative transfer model that includes greenhouse gases and the aerosol direct effect, we find that regional NOx reductions produce global, annually averaged positive net RFs (0.2 ± 0.6 to 1.7 ± 2 mWm−2/Tg N yr−1), with some variation among models. Negative net RFs result from reductions in global CH4 (−162.6 ± 2 mWm−2 for a change from 1760 to 1408 ppbv CH4) and regional NMVOC (−0.4 ± 0.2 to −0.7 ± 0.2 mWm−2/Tg C yr−1) and CO emissions (−0.13 ± 0.02 to −0.15 ± 0.02 mWm−2/Tg CO yr−1). Including the effect of O3 on CO2 uptake by vegetation likely makes these net RFs more negative by −1.9 to −5.2 mWm−2/Tg N yr−1, −0.2 to −0.7 mWm−2/Tg C yr−1, and −0.02 to −0.05 mWm−2/Tg CO yr−1. Net RF impacts reflect the distribution of concentration changes, where RF is affected locally by changes in SO42−, regionally to hemispherically by O3, and globally by CH4. Global annual average SO42− responses to oxidant changes range from 0.4 ± 2.6 to −1.9 ± 1.3 Gg for NOxreductions, 0.1 ± 1.2 to −0.9 ± 0.8 Gg for NMVOC reductions, and −0.09 ± 0.5 to −0.9 ± 0.8 Gg for CO reductions, suggesting additional research is needed. The 100-year global warming potentials (GWP100) are calculated for the global CH4 reduction (20.9 ± 3.7 without stratospheric O3 or water vapor, 24.2 ± 4.2 including those components), and for the regional NOx, NMVOC, and CO reductions (−18.7 ± 25.9 to −1.9 ± 8.7 for NOx, 4.8 ± 1.7 to 8.3 ± 1.9 for NMVOC, and 1.5 ± 0.4 to 1.7 ± 0.5 for CO). Variation in GWP100 for NOx, NMVOC, and CO suggests that regionally specific GWPs may be necessary and could support the inclusion of O3 precursors in future policies that address air quality and climate change simultaneously. Both global net RF and GWP100 are more sensitive to NOx and NMVOC reductions from South Asia than the other three regions.

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Also Published In

Title
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1029/2011JD017134

More About This Work

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