Influence of future climate and emissions on regional air quality in California

Authors

  • Allison L. Steiner,

    1. Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, Division of Ecosystem Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Shaheen Tonse,

    1. Environmental Energy Technologies Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California, USA
    2. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ronald C. Cohen,

    1. Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
    2. Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Allen H. Goldstein,

    1. Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, Division of Ecosystem Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Robert A. Harley

    1. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

[1] Using a chemical transport model simulating ozone concentrations in central California, we evaluate the effects of variables associated with future changes in climate and ozone precursor emissions, including (1) increasing temperature; (2) increasing atmospheric water vapor; (3) increasing biogenic VOC emissions due to temperature; (4) projected decreases in anthropogenic NOx, VOC, and CO emissions in California for 2050; and (5) the influence of changing ozone, CO, and methane at the western boundary. Climatic changes expected for temperature, atmospheric water vapor, and biogenic VOC emissions each individually cause a 1–5% increase in the daily peak ozone. Projected reductions in anthropogenic emissions of 10–50% in NOx and 50–70% in VOCs and CO have the greatest single effect, reducing ozone by 8–15% in urban areas. Changes to the chemical boundary conditions lead to ozone increases of 6% in the San Francisco Bay area and along the west coast but only 1–2% inland. Simulations combining climate effects predict that ozone will increase 3–10% in various regions of California. This increase is partly offset by projected future emissions reductions, and a combined climate and emissions simulation yields ozone reductions of 3–9% in the Central Valley and almost no net change in the San Francisco Bay area. We find that different portions of the model domain have widely varying sensitivity to climate parameters. In particular, the San Francisco Bay region is more strongly influenced by temperature changes than inland regions, indicating that air quality in this region may worsen under future climate regimes.

Ancillary