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Impacts of climate change on surface ozone and intercontinental ozone pollution: A multi-model study

Doherty, R. M.; Wild, O.; Shindell, D. T.; Zeng, G.; MacKenzie, I. A.; Collins, W. J.; Fiore, Arlene M.; Stevenson, D. S.; Dentener, F. J.; Schultz, M. G.; Hess, P.; Derwent, R. G.; Keating, T. J.

The impact of climate change between 2000 and 2095 SRES A2 climates on surface ozone (O)3 and on O3 source-receptor (S-R) relationships is quantified using three coupled climate-chemistry models (CCMs). The CCMs exhibit considerable variability in the spatial extent and location of surface O3 increases that occur within parts of high NOx emission source regions (up to 6 ppbv in the annual average and up to 14 ppbv in the season of maximum O3). In these source regions, all three CCMs show a positive relationship between surface O3 change and temperature change. Sensitivity simulations show that a combination of three individual chemical processes—(i) enhanced PAN decomposition, (ii) higher water vapor concentrations, and (iii) enhanced isoprene emission—largely reproduces the global spatial pattern of annual-mean surface O3 response due to climate change (R2 = 0.52). Changes in climate are found to exert a stronger control on the annual-mean surface O3 response through changes in climate-sensitive O3 chemistry than through changes in transport as evaluated from idealized CO-like tracer concentrations. All three CCMs exhibit a similar spatial pattern of annual-mean surface O3 change to 20% regional O3 precursor emission reductions under future climate compared to the same emission reductions applied under present-day climate. The surface O3 response to emission reductions is larger over the source region and smaller downwind in the future than under present-day conditions. All three CCMs show areas within Europe where regional emission reductions larger than 20% are required to compensate climate change impacts on annual-mean surface O3.

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Also Published In

Title
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1002/jgrd.50266

More About This Work

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