Physical sciences, Earth sciences

Air quality in future climate scenarios

Scientists performed model simulations to estimate the impact of future anthropogenic emission scenarios on air quality in Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean under present and future climates.

The Mediterranean basin is one of the regions of the world where significant impacts due to climate changes are predicted to occur in the future.. Policymakers are attempting to lessen the impacts of global warming and pollution by introducing measures to reduce human emissions of greenhouse gases and short lived climate pollutants, like ozone precursors and aerosols.

The EU-funded MAQUIS (Mediterranean air quality in future climate scenarios) initiative is determining the effects of four different future emission levels on air quality under present and future climates.

Researchers are quantifying how atmospheric ozone and particulate matter concentrations are affected by different emission scenarios and climate conditions through a set of model simulations.

By estimating the future impact of different emission levels, policymakers can adjust their reduction strategies required to achieve regional air quality objectives.

MAQUIS results show that placing a limit on emissions of pollutants in EU Member States will lessen summer ozone depletion over most of Europe. Meanwhile, implementing global climate change policies will extend these benefits into the Eastern Mediterranean, East Europe and Russia.

The best scenario, however, is to integrate air quality and climate change policies to both lessen ozone and particulate matter concentrations in the atmosphere. Implementing this policy will substantially improve air quality over all of Europe and the Mediterranean basin.

An improved understanding of air quality-climate interactions will help to identify the main culprits affecting present and future air quality under different future climate conditions. This will allow governments to more accurately assess the effectiveness of their emission reduction policies and to adjust them if necessary.

last modification: 2016-01-27 10:56:32

Study in Poland