D. Simpson

Chalmers University of Technology, Goeteborg, Västra Götaland, Sweden

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Publications (133)350.74 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Livestock production systems currently occupy around 28% of the land surface of the European Union (equivalent to 65% of the agricultural land). In conjunction with other human activities, livestock production systems affect water, air and soil quality, global climate and biodiversity, altering the biogeochemical cycles of nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon. Here, we quantify the contribution of European livestock production to these major impacts. For each environmental effect, the contribution of livestock is expressed as shares of the emitted compounds and land used, as compared to the whole agricultural sector. The results show that the livestock sector contributes significantly to agricultural environmental impacts. This contribution is 78% for terrestrial biodiversity loss, 80% for soil acidification and air pollution (ammonia and nitrogen oxides emissions), 81% for global warming, and 73% for water pollution (bothNand P). The agriculture sector itself is one of the major contributors to these environmental impacts, ranging between 12% for global warming and 59% for Nwater quality impact. Significant progress in mitigating these environmental impacts in Europe will only be possible through a combination of technological measures reducing livestock emissions, improved food choices and reduced food waste of European citizens.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Environmental Research Letters
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract An evaluation has been made of a number of contrasting atmospheric chemical transport models, of varying complexity, applied to estimate sulphur and nitrogen deposition in the UK. The models were evaluated by comparison with annually averaged measurements of gas, aerosol and precipitation concentrations from the national monitoring networks. The models were evaluated in relation to performance criteria. They were generally able to satisfy a criterion of ‘fitness for purpose’ that at least 50% of modelled concentrations should be within a factor of two of measured values. The second criterion, that the magnitude of the normalised mean bias should be less than 20%, was not always satisfied. Considering known uncertainties in measurement techniques, this criterion may be too strict. Overall, simpler models were able to give a good representation of measured gas concentrations whilst the use of dynamic meteorology, and complex photo-chemical reactions resulted in a generally better representation of measured aerosol and precipitation concentrations by more complex models. The models were compared graphically by plotting maps and cross-country transects of wet and dry deposition as well as calculating budgets of total wet and dry deposition to the UK for sulphur, oxidised nitrogen and reduced nitrogen. The total deposition to the UK varied by +/- 22-36% amongst the different models depending on the deposition component. At a local scale estimates of both dry and wet deposition for individual 5km x 5 km model grid squares were found to vary between the different models by up to a factor of 4.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Atmospheric Environment
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    ABSTRACT: Air pollution causes adverse effects on human health as well as ecosystems and crop yield and also has an impact on climate change trough short-lived climate forcers. To design mitigation strategies for air pollution, 3D Chemistry Transport Models (CTMs) have been developed to support the decision process. Increases in model resolution may provide more accurate and detailed information, but will cubically increase computational costs and pose additional challenges concerning high resolution input data. The motivation for the present study was therefore to explore the impact of using finer horizontal grid resolution for policy support applications of the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP) model within the Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) convention. The goal was to determine the “optimum resolution” at which additional computational efforts do not provide increased model performance using presently available input data. Five regional CTMs performed four runs for 2009 over Europe at different horizontal resolutions.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Atmospheric Environment
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    ABSTRACT: The turbulence within and immediately above a vegetation canopy is the driver of the exchange processes of heat, trace gases and particles between the soil, the plants and the atmosphere above.
    Full-text · Chapter · Jul 2015
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    ABSTRACT: The global nitrogen (N) cycle at the beginning of the 21st century has been shown to be strongly influenced by the inputs of reactive nitrogen (Nr) from human activities, estimated to be 193 Tg N yr−1 in 2010 which is approximately equal to the sum of biological N fixation in terrestrial and marine ecosystems. According to current trajectories, changes in climate and land use during the 21st century will increase both biological and anthropogenic fixation, bringing the total to approximately 600 Tg N yr−1 by around 2100. The fraction contributed directly by human activities is unlikely to increase substantially if increases in nitrogen use efficiency in agriculture are achieved and control measures on combustion related emissions implemented. Some N cycling processes emerge as particularly sensitive to climate change. One of the largest responses to climate in the processing of Nr is the emission to the atmosphere of NH3, which is estimated to increase from 65 Tg N yr−1 in 2008 to 93 Tg N yr−1 in 2100 assuming a change in surface temperature of 5 °C even in the absence of increased anthropogenic activity. With changes in emissions in response to increased demand for animal products the combined effect would be to increase NH3 emissions to 132 Tg N yr−1. Another major change is the effect of changes in aerosol composition combined with changes in temperature. Inorganic aerosols over the polluted regions especially in Europe and North America were dominated by (NH4)2SO4 in the 1970s to 1980s, and large reductions in emissions of SO2 have removed most of the SO42- from the atmosphere in these regions. Inorganic aerosols from anthropogenic emissions are now dominated by NH4NO3, a volatile aerosol which contributes substantially to PM10 and human health effects globally as well as eutrophication and climate effects. The volatility of NH4NO3 and rapid dry deposition of the vapour phase dissociation products, HNO3 and NH3, is estimated to be reducing the transport distances, deposition footprints and inter-country exchange of Nr in these regions. There have been important policy initiatives on components of the global N cycle. For the most part they have been regional or country-based and have delivered substantial reductions of inputs of Nr to sensitive soils, waters and the atmosphere. However, considering the magnitude of global Nr use, potential future increases, and the very large leakage of Nr in many forms to soils, waters and the atmosphere, there is a very long way to go before evidence for recovery from the effects of Nr deposition on sensitive ecosystems, or a decline in N2O emissions to the global atmosphere are likely to be detected. Such changes would require substantial improvements in nitrogen use efficiency across the global economy combined with optimisation of transport and food consumption patterns. This would allow reductions in Nr use, inputs to the atmosphere and deposition to sensitive ecosystems. Such changes would offer substantial economic and environmental co-benefits which could help motivate the necessary actions.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
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    ABSTRACT: We have investigated the potential impact on organic aerosol formation from biotic stress-induced emissions (SIE) of organic molecules from forests in Europe (north of lat. 45° N). Emission estimates for sesquiterpenes (SQT), methyl salicylate (MeSA) and unsaturated C17 compounds, due to different stressors, are based on experiments in the Jülich Plant Atmosphere Chamber (JPAC), combined with estimates of the fraction of stressed trees in Europe based on reported observed tree damage. SIE were introduced in the EMEP MSC-W chemical transport model and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) yields from the SIE were taken from the JPAC experiments. Based on estimates of current levels of infestation and the JPAC aerosol yields, the model results suggest that the contribution to SOA in large parts of Europe may be substantial. It is possible that SIE contributes as much, or more, to organic aerosol than the constitutive biogenic VOC emissions, at least during some periods. Based on the assumptions in this study, SIE-SOA are estimated to constitute between 50 and 70 % of the total biogenic SOA (BSOA) in a current-situation scenario where the biotic stress in northern and central European forests causes large SIE of MeSA and SQT. An alternative current-situation scenario with lower SIE, consisting solely of SQT, leads to lower SIE-SOA, between 20 and 40 % of the total BSOA. Hypothetical future scenarios with increased SIE, due to higher degrees of biotic stress, show that SOA formation due to SIE can become even larger. Unsaturated C17 BVOC (biogenic volatile organic compounds) emitted by spruce infested by the forest-honey generating bark louse, Cinara pilicornis, have a high SOA-forming potential. A model scenario investigating the effect of a regional, episodic infestation of Cinara pilicornis in Baden-Württemberg, corresponding to a year with high production of forest honey, shows that these types of events could lead to very large organic aerosol formation in the infested region. We have used the best available laboratory data on biotic SIE applicable to northern and central European forests. Using these data and associated assumptions, we have shown that SIE are potentially important for SOA formation but the magnitude of the impact is uncertain and needs to be constrained by further laboratory, field and modelling studies. As an example, the MeSA, which is released as a consequence of various types of biotic stress, is found to have a potentially large impact on SIE-SOA in Europe, but different assumptions regarding the nighttime chemistry of MeSA can change its SOA potential substantially. Thus, further investigations of the atmospheric chemistry of MeSA and observational field studies are needed to clarify the role of this compound in the atmosphere.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
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    ABSTRACT: Currently residential wood combustion (RWC) is increasing in Europe because of rising fossil fuel prices but also due to climate change mitigation policies. However, especially in small-scale applications, RWC may cause high emissions of particulate matter (PM). Recently we have developed a new high-resolution (7 km × 7 km) anthropogenic carbonaceous aerosol emission inventory for Europe. The inventory indicated that about half of the total PM2.5 emission in Europe is carbonaceous aerosol and identified RWC as the largest organic aerosol (OA) source in Europe. The inventory was partly based on national reported PM emissions. Use of this OA inventory as input for two Chemical Transport Models (CTMs), PMCAMx and EMEP MSC-W, revealed major underestimations of OA in winter time, especially for regions dominated by RWC. Interestingly, this was not universal but appeared to differ by country. In the present study we constructed a new bottom-up emission inventory for RWC accounting for the semi-volatile components of the emissions. The new RWC emissions are higher than those in the previous inventory by a factor of 2–3 but with substantial inter-country variation. The new emission inventory served as input for the CTMs and a substantially improved agreement between measured and predicted organic aerosol was found. The new RWC inventory improves the model calculated OA significantly. Comparisons to Scandinavian source apportionment studies also indicate substantial improvements in the modeled wood-burning component of OA. This suggests that primary organic aerosol emission inventories need to be revised to include the semi-volatile OA that is formed almost instantaneously due to cooling of the flue gas or exhaust. Since RWC is a key source of fine PM in Europe, a major revision of the emission estimates as proposed here is likely to influence source-receptor matrices and modelled source apportionment. Since usage of biofuels, such as wood, in small combustion units is a globally significant source, this insight may also dramatically change global estimates of organic aerosol emissions.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

  • No preview · Technical Report · Nov 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Figure 1. Overview of ozone–chemistry–climate interactions. Main processes which are discussed further in the text are (a) changes in CH4 lifetime, (b) generation of aerosol, (c) aerosol effects ecosystems through radiation changes, (d) direct effect of ozone on climate warning, (e) indirect effect of phyto-toxic ozone through biomass and stomatal changes, (f) impact of Nr deposition on ecosystem growth, (g) impact of stomatal changes on water budget. BVOC emissions are affected by CO2 increases (h) and biomass changes (i), as well as O3 itself (j), with BVOC affecting ozone chemistry (j). Soil NO emissions (k) also change, in turn being affected by deposition of reactive Nitrogen, Nr (f). Atmospheric chemistry among oxidants such as O3 and OH and various Nr and other precursor species (Q) is loosely indicated and discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, a new model framework that couples the atmospheric chemistry transport model system Weather Research and Forecasting–European Monitoring and Evalu-ation Programme (WRF-EMEP) and the multimedia fugacity level III model was used to assess the environmental impact of in-air amine emissions from post-combustion carbon diox-ide capture. The modelling framework was applied to a typ-ical carbon capture plant artificially placed at Mongstad, on the west coast of Norway. The study region is characterized by high precipitation amounts, relatively few sunshine hours, predominantly westerly winds from the North Atlantic and complex topography. Mongstad can be considered as mod-erately polluted due to refinery activities. WRF-EMEP en-ables a detailed treatment of amine chemistry in addition to atmospheric transport and deposition. Deposition fluxes of WRF-EMEP simulations were used as input to the fu-gacity model in order to derive concentrations of nitramines and nitrosamine in lake water. Predicted concentrations of nitramines and nitrosamines in ground-level air and drinking water were found to be highly sensitive to the description of amine chemistry, especially of the night-time chemistry with the nitrate (NO 3) radical. Sensitivity analysis of the fugac-ity model indicates that catchment characteristics and chem-ical degradation rates in soil and water are among the impor-tant factors controlling the fate of these compounds in lake water. The study shows that realistic emission of commonly used amines result in levels of the sum of nitrosamines and nitramines in ground-level air (0.6–10 pg m −3) and drinking water (0.04–0.25 ng L −1) below the current safety guideline for human health that is enforced by the Norwegian Environ-ment Agency. The modelling framework developed in this study can be used to evaluate possible environmental im-pacts of emissions of amines from post-combustion capture in other regions of the world.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
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    ABSTRACT: We have investigated the potential impact on organic aerosol formation from biotic stress-induced emissions (SIE) of organic molecules from forests in Europe (North of Lat. 45� N). Emission estimates for sesquiterpenes (SQT), methyl salicylate (MeSA) and unsaturated C17-compounds, due to different stressors, are based on experiments in the Jülich Plant Atmosphere Chamber (JPAC), combined with estimates of the fraction of stressed trees in Europe based on reported observed tree damage. SIE were introduced in the EMEP MSC-W chemical transport model and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) yields from the SIE were taken from the JPAC experiments. The estimated current-situation SIE in Central and Northern European forests are found to contribute substantially to SOA in large parts of Europe. It is possible that the SIE contributes as much, or more, to organic aerosol than the constitutive biogenic VOC-emissions, at least during some periods. Based on the assumptions in this study, SIE-SOA are estimated to constitute between 50 and 70% of the total biogenic SOA (BSOA) in a current-situation scenario where the biotic stress in Northern and Central European forests causes large SIE of MeSA and SQT. An alternative current-situation scenario with lower SIE, consisting solely of SQT, leads to lower SIE-SOA, between 20 and 40% of the total BSOA. Hypothetical future scenarios with increased SIE, due to higher degrees of biotic stress, show that SOA formation due to SIE can become even larger. Unsaturated C17-BVOCs emitted by spruce infested by the forest honey generating bark louse Cinara pilicornis have a high SOA-forming potential. A model scenario investigating the effect of a regional, episodic infestation of Cinara pilicornis in Baden-Württemberg, corresponding to a year with high production of forest honey, shows that these types of events could lead to very large organic aerosol formation in the infested region. We have used the best available laboratory data on biotic SIE applicable to Northern and Central European forests. Using these data and associated assumptions we have shown that SIE are important for SOA formation but the magnitude of the impact is uncertain and needs to be constrained by further laboratory, field and modelling studies. As an example, the MeSA, which is released as a consequence of various types of biotic stress, is found to have a potentially large impact on SIE-SOA in Europe but e.g. different assumptions regarding the nighttime chemistry of MeSA can change its SOA potential substantially. Thus, further investigations of the atmospheric chemistry of MeSA and observational field studies are needed to clarify the role of this compound in the atmosphere.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
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    H. Pleijel · H. Danielsson · D. Simpson · G. Mills
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    ABSTRACT: Elevated levels of tropospheric ozone can significantly impair the growth of crops. The reduced removal of CO2 by plants leads to higher atmospheric concentrations of CO2, enhancing radiative forcing. Ozone effects on economic yield, e.g. the grain yield of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) are currently used to model effects on radiative forcing. However, changes in grain yield do not necessarily reflect changes in total biomass. Based on analysis of 21 ozone exposure experiments with field-grown wheat, we investigated whether use of effects on grain yield as a~proxy for effects on biomass under- or over-estimates effects on biomass. First, we confirmed that effects on partitioning and biomass loss are both of significant importance for wheat yield loss. Then we derived ozone dose response functions for biomass loss and for harvest index (the proportion of above-ground biomass converted to grain) based on twelve experiments and recently developed ozone uptake modelling for wheat. Finally, we used a European scale chemical transport model (EMEP MSC-West) to assess the effect of ozone on biomass (-9%) and grain yield (-14%) loss over Europe. Based on yield data per grid square, we estimated above ground biomass losses due to ozone in 2000 in Europe totalling 22.2 million tonnes. Incorrectly applying the grain yield response function to model effects on biomass instead of the biomass response function of this paper would have indicated total above ground biomass losses totalling 38.1 million (i.e. overestimating effects by 15.9 million tonnes). A key conclusion from our study is that future assessments of ozone induced loss of agroecosystem carbon storage should use response functions for biomass, such as that provided in this paper, not grain yield, to avoid overestimation of the indirect radiative forcing from ozone effects on crop biomass accumulation.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Biogeosciences
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, a new model framework that couples the atmospheric chemistry transport model system WRF-EMEP and the multimedia fugacity level III model was used to assess the environmental impact of amine emissions to air from post-combustion carbon dioxide capture. The modelling framework was applied to a typical carbon capture plant artificially placed at Mongstad, west coast of Norway. WRF-EMEP enables a detailed treatment of amine chemistry in addition to atmospheric transport and deposition. Deposition fluxes of WRF-EMEP simulations were used as input to the fugacity model in order to derive concentrations of nitramines and nitrosamine in lake water. Predicted concentrations of nitramines and nitrosamines in ground-level air and drinking water were found to be highly sensitive to the description of amine chemistry, especially of the night time chemistry with the nitrate (NO3) radical. Sensitivity analysis of the fugacity model indicates that catchment characteristics and chemical degradation rates in soil and water are among the important factors controlling the fate of these compounds in lake water. The study shows that realistic emission of commonly used amines result in levels of the sum of nitrosamines and nitramines in ground-level air (0.6–10 pgm−3) and drinking water (0.04–0.25 ngL−1) below the current safety guideline for human health enforced by the Norwegian Environmental Directorate. The modelling framework developed in this study can be used to evaluate possible environmental impacts of emissions of amines from post-combustion capture in other regions of the world.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS
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    ABSTRACT: The impact of climate and emissions changes on the deposition of reactive nitrogen (Nr) over Europe was studied using four offline regional chemistry transport models (CTMs) driven by the same global projection of future climate over the period 2000-2050. Anthropogenic emissions for the years 2005 and 2050 were used for simulations of both present and future periods in order to isolate the impact of climate change, hemispheric boundary conditions and emissions, and to assess the robustness of the results across the different models. The results from these four CTMs clearly show that the main driver of future N-deposition changes is the specified emission change. Under the specified emission scenario for 2050, emissions of oxidised nitrogen were reduced substantially, whereas emissions of NH3 increase to some extent, and these changes are largely reflected in the modelled concentrations and depositions. The lack of sulfur and oxidised nitrogen in the future atmosphere results in a much larger fraction of NHx being present in the form of gaseous ammonia. Predictions for wet and total deposition were broadly consistent, although the three fine-scale models resolve European emission areas and changes better than the hemispheric-scale model. The biggest difference in the models is for predictions of individual N compounds. One model (EMEP) was used to explore changes in critical loads, also in conjunction with speculative climate-induced increases in NH3 emissions. These calculations suggest that the area of ecosystems that exceeds critical loads is reduced from 64% for year 2005 emissions levels to 50% for currently estimated 2050 levels. A possible climate-induced increase in NH3 emissions could worsen the situation, with areas exceeded increasing again to 57% (for a 30% NH3 emission increase).
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
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    ABSTRACT: An evaluation has been made of a range of simple and complex atmospheric transport models, applied to estimate sulphur and nitrogen deposition in the UK in order to provide information to policy makers to support decisions on future model use. The models were evaluated by comparison with annually averaged measurements from the national monitoring networks. A number of statistical metrics were output to assess model performance and the models were compared graphically by plotting cross-country transects of concentrations in air.
    No preview · Chapter · Jan 2014
  • David Simpson
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    ABSTRACT: The EMEP MSC-W group have as their main aim the support of air pollution policy in Europe, primarily under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, but also for the European Commission. Traditionally, the EMEP MSC-W model has covered all of Europe with a grid-size of about 50 km, and extending vertically from ground level to the tropopause (100 hPa). The model has undergone substantial development in recent years, and is now applied on scales ranging from local (ca. 5 km grid size) to global. The main scientific challenges include those associated with e.g. formation of organic aerosols, but all activities are limited by uncertain inputs, particularly emissions (e.g. BVOC), and too few measurements of key compounds. In a longer-term perspective EMEP needs to develop links covering a range of scales and issues, including the interaction with Earth-system models.
    No preview · Chapter · Jan 2014
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    ABSTRACT: The air pollution load to northern European forests is changing as a result of emission reductions. Climate change modifies this load, either directly via atmospheric processes or indirectly by affecting emission patterns. We estimate the risk of harmful effects due to tropospheric ozone and nitrogen deposition in present and future conditions. Our modelling results show that critical levels are exceeded in northern Europe for both ozone and nitrogen. Emission reductions will reduce the vegetation stress, but climate change is likely to have an opposite effect. While tropospheric ozone is reduced, its phytotoxic dose increases due to atmospheric warming. The amplified warming in the Arctic may significantly enhance shipping emissions. The effect of these increases extends to the boreal region. In addition, we review recent literature on the interactions between climate change and air quality, and discuss the assessment of pollution risks and carbon stocks and related synergies in emission control.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2013
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    Full-text · Dataset · Dec 2013
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Publication Stats

6k Citations
350.74 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2005-2015
    • Chalmers University of Technology
      • Department of Earth and Space Sciences
      Goeteborg, Västra Götaland, Sweden
  • 1998-2014
    • Norwegian Meteorological Institute
      Kristiania (historical), Oslo, Norway
  • 2003-2009
    • University of Gothenburg
      • • Department of Chemistry & Molecular Biology
      • • Department of Earth Sciences
      Goeteborg, Västra Götaland, Sweden
  • 2006
    • University of Oulu
      • Department of Chemistry
      Uleoborg, Northern Ostrobothnia, Finland
  • 1995
    • Lancaster University
      • Lancaster Law School
      Lancaster, England, United Kingdom