The global atmospheric environment for the next generation.

Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, via E. Fermi 1, 1-21020, Ispra, Italy.
Environmental Science and Technology (Impact Factor: 5.26). 07/2006; 40(11):3586-94.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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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    Environmental Pollution 01/2014; 184. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    Journal of Geophysical Research 02/2014; · 3.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bryophyte establishment represents a positive feedback process that enhances soil development in newly exposed terrain. Further, biological nitrogen (N) fixation by cyanobacteria in association with mosses can be an important supply of N to terrestrial ecosystems, however the role of these associations during post-glacial primary succession is not yet fully understood. Here, we analyzed chronosequences in front of two receding glaciers with contrasting climatic conditions (wetter vs drier) at Cordillera Darwin (Tierra del Fuego) and found that most mosses had the capacity to support an epiphytic flora of cyanobacteria and exhibited high rates of N2 fixation. Pioneer moss-cyanobacteria associations showed the highest N2 fixation rates (4.60 and 4.96 µg N g-1 bryo. d-1) very early after glacier retreat (4 and 7 years) which may help accelerate soil development under wetter conditions. In drier climate, N2 fixation on bryophyte-cyanobacteria associations was also high (0.94 and 1.42 µg N g-1 bryo. d-1) but peaked at intermediate-aged sites (26 and 66 years). N2 fixation capacity on bryophytes was primarily driven by epiphytic cyanobacteria abundance rather than community composition. Most liverworts showed low colonization and N2 fixation rates, and mosses did not exhibit consistent differences across life forms and habitat (saxicolous vs terricolous). We also found a clear relationship between cyanobacteria genera and the stages of ecological succession, but no relationship was found with host species identity. Glacier forelands in Tierra del Fuego show fast rates of soil transformation which imply large quantities of N inputs. Our results highlight the potential contribution of bryophyte-cyanobacteria associations to N accumulation during post-glacial primary succession and further describe the factors that drive N2-fixation rates in post-glacial areas with very low N deposition.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(5):e96081. · 3.73 Impact Factor

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