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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-824
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-824
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 15 Nov 2019

Submitted as: research article | 15 Nov 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Impacts of future land use and land cover change on mid-21st-century surface ozone air quality: Distinguishing between the biogeophysical and biogeochemical effects

Lang Wang1,2, Amos P. K. Tai1,3,4, Chi-Yung Tam1,3, Mehliyar Sadiq1,3, Peng Wang3, and Kevin K. W. Cheung5 Lang Wang et al.
  • 1Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  • 2Department of Geography and Resource Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  • 3Earth System Science Programme, Faculty of Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  • 4Partner State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  • 5Department of Environmental Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

Abstract. Surface ozone (O3) is an important air pollutant and greenhouse gas. Land use and land cover (LULC) is one of the critical factors influencing ozone, in addition to anthropogenic emissions and climate. LULC change can on the one hand affect ozone biogeochemically, i.e., via dry deposition and biogenic emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). LULC change can on the other hand alter regional- to large-scale climate through modifying albedo and evapotranspiration, which can lead to changes in surface temperature, hydrometeorology and atmospheric circulation that can ultimately impact ozone biogeophysically over local and remote areas. Such biogeophysical effects of LULC on ozone are largely understudied. This study investigates the individual and combined biogeophysical and biogeochemical effects of LULC on ozone, and explicitly examines the critical pathway for how LULC change impacts ozone pollution. A global coupled atmosphere–chemistry–land model is driven by projected LULC changes from the present day (2000) to future (2050) under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios, focusing on the boreal summer. Results reveal that when considering biogeochemical effects only, surface ozone is predicted to have slight changes by up to 2 ppbv maximum in some areas due to LULC changes. It is primarily driven by changes in isoprene emission and dry deposition counteracting each other in shaping ozone. In contrast, when considering the integrated effect of LULC, ozone is more substantially altered by up to 6 ppbv over several regions, reflecting the importance of biogeophysical effects on ozone changes. Furthermore, large areas of these ozone changes are found over the regions without LULC changes where the biogeophysical effect is the only pathway for such changes. The mechanism is likely that LULC change induces a regional circulation response, in particular the formation of anomalous stationary high-pressure systems, shifting of moisture transport, and near-surface warming over the middle-to-high northern latitudes in boreal summer, owing to associated changes in albedo and surface energy budget. Such temperature changes then alter ozone substantially. We conclude that the biogeophysical effect of LULC is an important pathway for the influence of LULC change on ozone air quality over both local and remote regions, even in locations without significant LULC changes. Overlooking the impact of biogeophysical effect may cause evident underestimation of the impacts of LULC change on ozone pollution.

Lang Wang et al.
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Short summary
Surface ozone is an important air pollutant and greenhouse gas. Land use and land cover (LULC) is one of the critical factors influencing ozone, in addition to anthropogenic emissions and climate. This study investigates the two different types of effects (biogeochemical and biogeophysical) of LULC change, and reveals the meteorological changes arising from LULC change (biogeophysical effects) are the critical pathways for the influence of LULC change on ozone pollution.
Surface ozone is an important air pollutant and greenhouse gas. Land use and land cover (LULC)...
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