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Potential regional climate change and implications to U.S. air quality

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Abstract

[1] Regional climate change scenarios were generated by dynamical downscaling to assess the potential effects of climate change on U.S. air quality. Comparing the climate simulation for 2045–2055 based on the IPCC A1B scenario with the control simulation of 1995–2005, large atmospheric changes that could affect air quality were found in several regions. Analyses were based on changes in surface air temperature and downward solar radiation, precipitation frequency, stagnation events, and ventilation. Changes in the Midwest and Texas during summer are of opposite sign, suggesting negative impacts on air quality in Texas and small positive or no impact in the Midwest. During fall, large warming, increased solar radiation, reduced rainfall frequency, increased stagnation occurrence, and reduced ventilation in the western U.S. all suggest negative impacts on regional air quality. These changes are related to an anticyclonic pattern in the 500 hPa height change that is also found in other GCM projections.

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