Publication Abstracts

Trail et al. 2015

Trail, M., A.P. Tsimpidi, P. Liu, K. Tsigaridis, Y. Hu, A. Nenes, B. Stone, and A.G. Russell, 2015: Reforestation and crop land conversion impacts on future regional air quality in the Southeastern U.S. Agric. Forest Meteorol., 209, 78-86, doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2015.05.001.

Land in the southeastern U.S. is expected to change, e.g., given the potential demand to develop forest-to-fuel technologies or, conversely, cropification of current forests to increase food production. Possible future PM2.5 and O3 air quality for two land use/land cover change (LULCC) scenarios, reforestation and cropland conversion, are compared to a reference case scenario for the year 2050 using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) and Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ) models. Changes in air quality driven by changes in climate, deposition and emissions relating to the LULCC are investigated. Reforestation in the Southeast tends to decrease the ambient O3 mixing ratio while slightly increasing summertime PM2.5 in the Southeastern U.S. Results of a climate and deposition (CD) sensitivity simulation are provided for the two alternative LULCC scenarios to isolate the impact of changing climate and deposition on PM2.5 and O3 air quality. The sensitivity results indicate that deposition and emissions changes associated with reforestation impact O3 and PM2.5 concentrations as much as, and in most cases more than, changes in meteorology. Conversion of forest to cropland in the Southeast, on the other hand, tends to increase O3 and increase PM2.5 year-round. Cropland conversion leads to increased NOX emissions and increases in the 4th highest maximum daily 8-h O3 (MDA8) of the year by up to 10 ppb despite the tendency for increased deposition and decreased temperature to reduce the MDA8 mixing ratio. The results of this study show that O3 and aerosol concentrations are sensitive to reforestation and cropland conversion in the Southeast and these land use changes should be considered in air quality management plans. Further, they show the sensitivity of such calculations to land cover properties.

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