Domestic versus international contributions on 2050 ozone air quality: How much is convertible by regional control?

Hang Lei, Donald J. Wuebbles, Xin Zhong Liang, Seth Olsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A global climate chemistry model CAM-Chem is driven by the meteorology output from community climate system model version 3 (CCSM3) to investigate the relative contributions of changes in local anthropogenic emissions (LE) versus changes in remote anthropogenic emissions (RE) to global surface ozone air quality in 2050. On major ozone pollution regions (Europe, the United States, Asia), the effects are examined following three distinct pathways, A1FI, A1B and B1, from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) to address the uncertainty in projections of future climate and emissions. We find that projected changes in anthropogenic emissions under the A1FI scenario lead to an increase of 5-14 ppb in summertime daily maximum 8-h (DM8H) ozone concentration over U.S. by 2050, of which 48% is contributed by LE changes and 52% is contributed by RE changes. For Europe, the change in local emissions contributes 62% of the surface ozone increase in 2050 summer, while 38% of the increase is attributed to remote emission change. For Asia, changes in LE dominate the 2050 surface ozone increase with a magnitude of 10-30 ppb on summertime DM8H ozone concentration. However, under the A1B and B1 scenarios, contributions from LE changes are much larger than that from RE changes over all three regions except Asia under the B1 scenario, in which the RE changes contribute 31% of total change. The results indicate that for the United States and Europe, pollution control is a local issue under global low emission situations, while it becomes an international issue when fossil fuel use is rapidly increasing. Due to the weak Euro-Asia transport, local emission increase seems to be the main force for Asia's ozone air quality change under all cases except the low emission scenario B1. Therefore, the strategies for regional air quality control need to be based on global emission situation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-325
Number of pages11
JournalAtmospheric Environment
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Air quality
  • Anthropogenic emission
  • Climate change
  • Ozone
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


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