ARB Research Seminar

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Impact of Potential Future Climate Change on Regional Ozone and Fine Particulate Matter Levels in the United States

Praveen Amar, Ph.D., P.E., Director, Science and Policy, Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM)

A Joint Research Project by Georgia Institute of Technology, NESCAUM, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

January 10, 2007
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA



Contribution of air pollution precursors to regional ozone and PM2.5 formation and effectiveness of currently planned control strategies are investigated considering potential future climate changes over the North America. The changes in semi-normalized first-order sensitivities of ozone and PM2.5 formation to their precursors(e.g., NOx, SO₂, NH₃ and VOCs) due to potential future climate change alone as well as the combined effects of climate change and projected emission controls are quantified using MM5, SMOKE and CMAQ with DDM-3D. Sensitivities of ozone and PM2.5 formation to precursor emissions are found to change relatively little when considering only the potential changes in future climate. In many cases, absolute sensitivities (e.g., ppm/ton) to NOx and SO₂ controls are predicted to be greater in the future due to both the lower emissions as well as likely changes in climate, suggesting that control strategies designed for reducing NOx and SO₂ emissions based on current climatic conditions will continue to be effective for decreasing ground-level ozone and PM2.5 concentrations under the impacts of potential future climate changes, possibility even more so than they are today. Contributions of biogenic VOC emissions to PM2.5 formation are simulated to be more important in the future because of higher temperatures and higher biogenic emissions, while future emission reductions decrease the sensitivities of PM2.5 to SO₂ and NOx emissions.

Speaker Biography

Praveen K. Amar, Ph.D., P.E., is the Director of Science and Policy at NESCAUM (Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management). NESCAUM, located in Boston, Massachusetts, is an interagency association of eight northeastern states (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire). NESCAUM provides high-level scientific and policy-relevant input to its member states on regional air pollution issues.

Dr. Amar's key area of expertise is to "translate" the implications of findings of science and developments in technology into workable and cost-effective policy options for the states in the Northeast. These policy options have involved cost-effective technologies to reduce emissions of mercury from large utility boilers and municipal waste combustors, regional control of emissions of oxides of nitrogen and sulfur, including market-based approaches, relative roles of local and regional sources, planning for achieving ambient standards for fine particles and ozone, and promotion of environmentally friendly distributed generation technologies. Since 2003, he has been acting as a Co-Principal Investigator at NESCAUM in a joint effort with Georgia Institute of Technology and MIT on a policy-relevant research project that is evaluating future impacts of global climate change on regional air quality in the US (ozone and fine PM).

While at NESCAUM, he has served as member of the Science Advisory Committee (1993-2001) for the EPA-funded, MIT-Caltech-New Jersey Institute of Technology Center on Airborne Organics. He served as a member of the Synthesis Team (1996-2000) for the NARSTO that produced the July 2000 report "An Assessment of Tropospheric Ozone Pollution," and in February 2003, published "Particulate Matter Science for Policy Makers: A NARSTO Assessment." In 2002, he testified before the US House Science Committee on control strategies for particulate air pollution. In April 2005 he testified before the Democratic Policy Committee of the US Senate on EPA's proposed rule to control mercury emissions from coal-fired utility boilers.

Before joining NESCAUM, Dr. Amar was with the California Air Resources Board for fifteen years (1977-1992) where he managed programs on air pollution research (including research on acid deposition, atmospheric processes and ecological effects), strategic planning, and industrial source pollution control. For over 10 years, he has been a part-time faculty member at the University of California, Davis, California State University at Sacramento, and Tufts University in Boston, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in air pollution science and policy, atmospheric chemistry and physics, and fluid mechanics and heat transfer processes. He received his Ph.D. in engineering from UCLA in 1977. Dr. Amar is a licensed Mechanical Engineer in the State of California.

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