Jacob, Daniel J.; Winner, Darrel A.

Atmospheric Environment

Published date January 1, 2009

Effect of Climate Change on Air Quality

  • States the future climate is expected to be more stagnant, due to a weaker global circulation and a decreasing frequency of mid-latitude cyclones
  • States the observed correlation between surface ozone and temperature in polluted regions points to a detrimental effect of warming
  • States coupled GCM–CTM studies find that climate change alone will increase summertime surface ozone in polluted regions by 1–10 ppb over the coming decades, with the largest effects in urban areas and during pollution episodes
  • States higher water vapor in the future climate is expected to decrease the ozone background, so that pollution and background ozone have opposite sensitivities to climate change
  • States the effect of climate change on particulate matter (PM) is more complicated and uncertain than for ozone
  • Considers GCM–CTM studies which find that climate change will affect PM concentrations in polluted environments by ±0.1–1 μg m−3 over the coming decades
  • States wildfires fueled by climate change could become an increasingly important PM source