Future projections of near-surface ozone concentrations depend on the climate/emissions scenario used to drive future simulations, the direct effects of the changing climate on the atmosphere, and the indirect effects of changing temperatures and CO2 levels on biogenic ozone precursor emissions. The authors investigate the influence of these factors on potential future changes in summertime daily 8-h maximum ozone over the United States and China by comparing Model for Ozone and Related Chemical Tracers, version 2.4, (MOZART-2.4) simulations for the period 1996-2000 with 2095-99, using climate projections from NCAR-Department of Energy Parallel Climate Model simulations driven by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Emissions Scenarios A1fi (higher) and B1 (lower) emission scenarios, with corresponding changes in biogenic emissions. The effect of projected climate changes alone on surface ozone is generally less than 3 ppb over most regions. Regional ozone increases and decreases are driven mainly by local warming and marine air dilution enhancement, respectively. Changes are approximately the same magnitude under both scenarios, although spatial patterns of responses differ. Projected increases in isoprene emissions (32%-94% over both countries), however, result in significantly greater changes in surface ozone. Increases of 1-15 ppb are found under A1fi and of 0-7 ppb are found under B1. These increases not only raise the frequency of "high ozone days," but are also projected to occur nearly uniformly across the distribution of daily ozone maxima. Thus, projected future ozone changes appear to be more sensitive to changes in biogenic emissions than to direct climate changes, and the spatial patterns and magnitude of future ozone changes depend strongly on the future emissions scenarios used.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science