The Global Atmospheric Environment for the Next Generation

University of Oslo, Kristiania (historical), Oslo, Norway
Environmental Science and Technology (Impact Factor: 5.33). 07/2006; 40(11):3586-94. DOI: 10.1021/es0523845
Source: PubMed


Air quality, ecosystem exposure to nitrogen deposition, and climate change are intimately coupled problems: we assess changes in the global atmospheric environment between 2000 and 2030 using 26 state-of-the-art global atmospheric chemistry models and three different emissions scenarios. The first (CLE) scenario reflects implementation of current air quality legislation around the world, while the second (MFR) represents a more optimistic case in which all currently feasible technologies are applied to achieve maximum emission reductions. We contrast these scenarios with the more pessimistic IPCC SRES A2 scenario. Ensemble simulations for the year 2000 are consistent among models and show a reasonable agreement with surface ozone, wet deposition, and NO2 satellite observations. Large parts of the world are currently exposed to high ozone concentrations and high deposition of nitrogen to ecosystems. By 2030, global surface ozone is calculated to increase globally by 1.5 +/- 1.2 ppb (CLE) and 4.3 +/- 2.2 ppb (A2), using the ensemble mean model results and associated +/-1 sigma standard deviations. Only the progressive MFR scenario will reduce ozone, by -2.3 +/- 1.1 ppb. Climate change is expected to modify surface ozone by -0.8 +/- 0.6 ppb, with larger decreases over sea than over land. Radiative forcing by ozone increases by 63 +/- 15 and 155 +/- 37 mW m(-2) for CLE and A2, respectively, and decreases by -45 +/- 15 mW m(-2) for MFR. We compute that at present 10.1% of the global natural terrestrial ecosystems are exposed to nitrogen deposition above a critical load of 1 g N m(-2) yr(-1). These percentages increase by 2030 to 15.8% (CLE), 10.5% (MFR), and 25% (A2). This study shows the importance of enforcing current worldwide air quality legislation and the major benefits of going further. Nonattainment of these air quality policy objectives, such as expressed by the SRES-A2 scenario, would further degrade the global atmospheric environment.

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    • "Interestingly, if values for C storage efficiency are assumed to be constant over the range of actual atmospheric N deposition as in Thomas et al. (2010), then recent declines in N emissions (Kim et al., 2006) and deposition (Burns et al., 2011) observed in the Eastern US due to the Clean Air Act should diminish this region's contribution to the terrestrial C sink. Likewise, any reductions of N deposition in Europe resulting from the Gothenburg protocol should also diminish the terrestrial C sink in forests of that region, and the majority of the N-stimulated C sink in temperate forests is likely to shift towards Asia where N deposition most likely will continue to increase for the foreseeable future (Dentener et al., 2006). More generally, if actions were taken to lower the impacts of acid deposition and associated N deposition in affected temperate forests, then one undesirable consequence might be a diminished terrestrial C sink, and a resultant increase in the atmospheric fraction of CO 2 emissions from human activities. "
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    ABSTRACT: Many temperate deciduous forests in the Eastern US are secondary, regrowing forests and have experienced decades of elevated inputs of acidic compounds and biologically available nitrogen (N) from the atmosphere. These young forests play an important role in the global carbon (C) cycle as C sinks, and it is possible that acidic deposition will influence the strength and longevity of this sink. We used the Fernow Experimental Forest Long Term Soil Productivity (LTSP) experiment near Parsons, WV to evaluate how 13 years of experimental N additions has affected ecosystem C storage and stand level dynamics in a young temperate deciduous forest. Specifically we examined whether N additions: (1) directly increased aboveground growth of regenerating trees but did so in a way that was independent of the indirect effects of soil acidification; (2) directly (independent of acidification effects) increased forest floor and soil C pools, and decreased the fine root C pool; and (3) lowered stand density and diversity. We also tested whether tree species were differentially affected by either N fertilization or soil acidification.
    Forest Ecology and Management 02/2015; 337:144-152. DOI:10.1016/j.foreco.2014.10.023 · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    • "Among all explanations, it is crucial to note that the present findings underline a potential global warming-related ecotoxicological risk for aquatic organisms, mainly derived from the toxicity variations of single or more complex mixtures of environmental pollutants. Therefore, this study supports the growing body of evidence that rising temperatures will have broad negative impacts on the distribution and toxicity of environmental contaminants (Macdonald et al., 2003, 2005; Knowlton et al., 2004; Knowlton and Kinney, 2004; Dentener et al., 2006; Stevenson et al., 2006; Bell et al., 2007; Buckman et al., 2007; Patra et al., 2007; Schiedek et al., 2007; Noyes et al., 2009). Further implementations in terms of experimental studies and modelling are needed to test various scenarios concerning transport , transfer, bioavailability as well as the final fate of all environmentally relevant pollutants, assessing the impacts on fitness and population/ecosystem effects on key species (Wu, 1995; Vaughan and Smith, 1996; Mezcua et al., 2006; Sarmah et al., 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Trace metals and broad-spectrum antibiotic drugs are common environmental contaminants, the importance of which is increasing due to global climate change-related effects. In the present study, the biological model organism E. crassus was first acclimated to five temperatures, from 25 °C to 33 °C, followed by exposure to nominal concentrations of copper, the antibiotic model compound oxytetracycline and mixtures of both, at increasing thermal conditions. Variations of temperature-related toxicity were assessed by two high-level endpoint tests, survival and replication rates, and two sublethal parameters: endocytosis rate and lysosomal membrane stability. The selected toxicants presented opposite behaviours as the protozoa's survival rates increased following an increasing thermal gradient in the oxytetracycline-related treatments, and a decline of tolerance in metal-related treatments was observed. Results of tests combining binary mixtures of tested toxicants showed a complex pattern of responses.
    Environmental Pollution 11/2014; 194:262–271. DOI:10.1016/j.envpol.2014.07.035 · 4.14 Impact Factor
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    • "The effects of climate change on air quality have been extensively studied in the last decade at global (Prather et al., 2003; Dentener et al., 2006) and regional scales (Langner et al., 2005; Szopa et al., 2006; Meleux et al., 2007; Giorgi and Meleux, 2007; Carvalho et al., 2010; Andersson and Engardt, 2010; Katragkou et al., 2011; Huszar et al., 2012; Juda-Rezler et al., 2012; Langner et al., 2012a, b; Colette et al., 2013). Langner et al. (2012a) studied the impacts of climate change and changes in O 3 precursors over 1990e2100 in Europe, under SRES A1 and RCP4.5 scenario. "
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    ABSTRACT: A chemistry-transport model using two-way nested regional (Europe) and global domains is used to evaluate the effects of climate and emission changes on air quality over Europe for the 2030s and 2050s, by comparison with the emissions and climate of the recent past. We investigated the pollutant levels under the implementations of reduced anthropogenic emissions (NOx, SO2, etc) over Europe and, at the global scale, under the Representative Concentrations Pathways (RCP8.5) scenario produced by the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of IPCC. The simulations show an increase in surface ozone in northwestern Europe and a decrease in southern areas in the future horizons studied here. Over Europe, average O3 levels steadily increase with a rate of around 3 μg m−3 per decade in summer. For this pollutant, the contributions of long range transport over the Northern Hemisphere and climate changes have been assessed and appear to counterbalance and even slightly outweigh the effects of European reductions in precursors' anthropogenic emissions. The tropospheric ozone budget is found to be dominated by enhanced stratosphere–troposphere exchanges in future climate while the chemical budget is significantly reduced. Our results show that a NOx-limited chemical regime will stretch over most of Europe, including especially Western France in the future. These findings allow supporting efficient future precursor emissions abatement strategies in order to limit O3 pollution and maintain or improve air quality standards in Europe.
    Atmospheric Environment 08/2014; 92:348–358. DOI:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2014.04.033 · 3.28 Impact Factor
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