Impacts of long-range transport of global pollutants and precursor gases on U.S. air quality under future climatic conditions

Ho Chun Huang, Jintai Lin, Zhining Tao, Hyun Choi, Kenneth Patten, Kenneth Kunkel, Min Xu, Jinhong Zhu, Xin Zhong Liang, Allen Williams, Michael Caughey, Donald J. Wuebbles, Julian Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The U.S. air quality is impacted by emissions both within and outside the United States. The latter impact is manifested as long-range transport (LRT) of pollutants across the U.S. borders, which can be simulated by lateral boundary conditions (LBC) into a regional modeling system. This system consists of a regional air quality model (RAQM) that integrates local-regional source emissions and chemical processes with remote forcing from the LBC predicted by a nesting global chemical transport model (model for ozone and related chemical tracers (MOZART)). The present-day simulations revealed important LRT effects, varying among the five major regions with ozone problems, i.e., northeast United States, midwest United States, Texas, California, and southeast United States. To determine the responses of the LRT impacts to projected global climate and emissions changes, the MOZART and RAQM simulations were repeated for future periods (2048-2052 and 2095-2099) under two emissions scenarios (IPCC AlFi and B1). The future U.S. air quality projected by the MOZART is less sensitive to the emissions scenarios than that simulated by the RAQM with or without incorporating the LRT effects via the LBC from the MOZART. The result of RAQM with the LRT effects showed that the southeast United States has the largest sensitivity of surface ozone mixing ratio to the emissions changes in the 2095-2099 climate (-24% to +25%) followed by the northeast and midwest United States. The net increase due to the LRT effects in 2095-2099 ranges from +4% to +13% in daily mean surface ozone mixing ratio and +4% to +11% in mean daily maximum 8-h average ozone mixing ratios. Correspondingly, the LRT effects in 2095-2099 cause total column O3 mixing ratio increases, ranging from +7% to +16%, and also 2 to 3 more days with the surface ozone exceeding the national standard. The results indicate that future U.S. air quality changes will be substantially affected by global emissions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberD19307
Pages (from-to)D19307
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 16 2008


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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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