We studied long-range transport patterns and related weather types in relation to high-ozone events in southern Sweden. The aim was to deepen the understanding of the relationship between Lamb-Jenkinson weather types and surface ozone concentration variation, thus widening the application of the weather type analysis of air quality at 4 sites in this region. The long-range transport patterns associated with high-ozone events were classified into trajectories from Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and in the vicinity of southern Sweden (VIC). The VIC type, characterized by short and whirling curves, represented more than 40% of the high-ozone events at the studied rural sites. More than half of the high-ozone events occurred under high-pressure conditions, belonging to weather type A (anticyclones). The high correlation coefficient between annual counts of weather type A and those of long-range transport pattern VIC confirmed the strong link between stagnant weather conditions and high-ozone events, especially during the summer. Furthermore, a strong linear anticorrelation was detected between high-ozone events and annual counts of weather type C (cyclones) during the summer. This relationship implies that the frequency of weather type C is a useful indicator for low risk of summertime high-ozone events in southern Sweden. Moreover, the relationship between the weather type and high ozone risk may be useful in examining the potential effect of climate change on the regional air quality.
Airborne observations of ozone, temperature and the spectral actinic photon flux for ozone in the Arctic lower stratosphere April-September 1997 and January-March 2000 allow a connection to be made between the rate of production of translationally hot atoms and molecules via ozone photodissociation and the intermittency of temperature. Seen in the context of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics literature results from molecular dynamics simulations, the observed correlation between the molecular scale production of translationally hot atoms and molecules and the macroscopic fluid mechanical intermittency of temperature may imply a departure from Maxwell-Boltzmann distributions of molecular velocities, with consequences for chemistry, radiative line shapes and turbulence in the atmosphere, arising from overpopulated high velocity tails of the probability distribution functions (PDFs).
The Montreal Protocol is working. Concentrations of major ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere are now decreasing, and the decline in total column amounts seen in the 1980s and 1990s at mid-latitudes has not continued. In polar regions, there is much greater natural variability. Each spring, large ozone holes continue to occur in Antarctica and less severe regions of depleted ozone continue to occur in the Arctic. There is evidence that some of these changes are driven by changes in atmospheric circulation rather than being solely attributable to reductions in ozone-depleting substances, which may indicate a linkage to climate change. Global ozone is still lower than in the 1970s and a return to that state is not expected for several decades. As changes in ozone impinge directly on UV radiation, elevated UV radiation due to reduced ozone is expected to continue over that period. Long-term changes in UV-B due to ozone depletion are difficult to verify through direct measurement, but there is strong evidence that UV-B irradiance increased over the period of ozone depletion. At unpolluted sites in the southern hemisphere, there is some evidence that UV-B irradiance has diminished since the late 1990s. The availability and temporal extent of UV data have improved, and we are now able to evaluate the changes in recent times compared with those estimated since the late 1920s, when ozone measurements first became available. The increases in UV-B irradiance over the latter part of the 20th century have been larger than the natural variability. There is increased evidence that aerosols have a larger effect on surface UV-B radiation than previously thought. At some sites in the Northern Hemisphere, UV-B irradiance may continue to increase because of continuing reductions in aerosol extinctions since the 1990s. Interactions between ozone depletion and climate change are complex and can be mediated through changes in chemistry, radiation, and atmospheric circulation patterns. The changes can be in both directions: ozone changes can affect climate, and climate change can affect ozone. The observational evidence suggests that stratospheric ozone (and therefore UV-B) has responded relatively quickly to changes in ozone-depleting substances, implying that climate interactions have not delayed this process. Model calculations predict that at mid-latitudes a return of ozone to pre-1980 levels is expected by the mid 21st century. However, it may take a decade or two longer in polar regions. Climate change can also affect UV radiation through changes in cloudiness and albedo, without involving ozone and since temperature changes over the 21st century are likely to be about 5 times greater than in the past century. This is likely to have significant effects on future cloud, aerosol and surface reflectivity. Consequently, unless strong mitigation measures are undertaken with respect to climate change, profound effects on the biosphere and on the solar UV radiation received at the Earth's surface can be anticipated. The future remains uncertain. Ozone is expected to increase slowly over the decades ahead, but it is not known whether ozone will return to higher levels, or lower levels, than those present prior to the onset of ozone depletion in the 1970s. There is even greater uncertainty about future UV radiation, since it will be additionally influenced by changes in aerosols and clouds.
Decision making regarding air pollution can be better informed if air quality impacts are traced back to individual emission sources. Adjoint or backward sensitivity analysis is a modeling tool that can achieve this goal by allowing for quantification of how emissions from sources in different locations influence human health metrics.
We attributed short-term mortality (valuated as an overall "health benefit") in Canada and the United States to anthropogenic nitrogen oxides (NO(x)) and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions across North America.
We integrated epidemiological data derived from Canadian and U.S. time-series studies with the adjoint of an air quality model and also estimated influences of anthropogenic emissions at each location on nationwide health benefits.
We found significant spatiotemporal variability in estimated health benefit influences of NO(x) and VOC emission reductions on Canada and U.S. mortality. The largest estimated influences on Canada (up to $250,000/day) were from emissions originating in the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor, where population centers are concentrated. Estimated influences on the United States tend to be widespread and more substantial owing to both larger emissions and larger populations. The health benefit influences calculated using 24-hr average ozone (O(3)) concentrations are lower in magnitude than estimates calculated using daily 1-hr maximum O(3) concentrations.
Source specificity of the adjoint approach provides valuable information for guiding air quality decision making. Adjoint results suggest that the health benefits of reducing NO(x) and VOC emissions are substantial and highly variable across North America.
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An ozone (O3) exposure assessment study was conducted in Toronto, Ontario, Canada during the winter and summer of 1992. A new passive O3 sampler developed by Harvard was used to measure indoor, outdoor, and personal O3 concentrations. Measurements were taken weekly and daily during the winter and summer, respectively. Indoor samples were collected at a total of 50 homes and workplaces of study participants. Outdoor O3 concentrations were measured both at home sites using the passive sampler and at 20 ambient monitoring sites with continuous monitors. Personal O3 measurements were collected from 123 participants, who also completed detailed time-activity diaries. A total of 2,274 O3 samples were collected. In addition, weekly air exchange rates of homes were measured.
Current emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) have already committed the planet to an increase in average surface temperature by the end of the century that may be above the critical threshold for tipping elements of the climate system into abrupt change with potentially irreversible and unmanageable consequences. This would mean that the climate system is close to entering if not already within the zone of "dangerous anthropogenic interference" (DAI). Scientific and policy literature refers to the need for "early," "urgent," "rapid," and "fast-action" mitigation to help avoid DAI and abrupt climate changes. We define "fast-action" to include regulatory measures that can begin within 2-3 years, be substantially implemented in 5-10 years, and produce a climate response within decades. We discuss strategies for short-lived non-CO(2) GHGs and particles, where existing agreements can be used to accomplish mitigation objectives. Policy makers can amend the Montreal Protocol to phase down the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with high global warming potential. Other fast-action strategies can reduce emissions of black carbon particles and precursor gases that lead to ozone formation in the lower atmosphere, and increase biosequestration, including through biochar. These and other fast-action strategies may reduce the risk of abrupt climate change in the next few decades by complementing cuts in CO(2) emissions.
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Objectives were to assess and estimate an association between exposure to ground-level ozone and emergency department (ED) visits for cellulitis. All ED visits for cellulitis in Edmonton, Canada, in the period April 1992-March 2002 (N = 69,547) were examined. Case-crossover design was applied to estimate odds ratio (OR, and 95% confidence interval) per one interquartile range (IQR) increase in ozone concentration (IQR = 14.0 ppb). Delay of ED visit relating to exposure was probed using 0- to 5-day exposure lags. For all patients in the all months (January-December) and lags 0 to 2 days, OR = 1.05 (1.02, 1.07). For male patients during the cold months (October-March): OR = 1.05 (1.02, 1.09) for lags 0 and 2 and OR = 1.06 (1.02, 1.10) for lag 3. For female patients in the warm months (April-September): OR = 1.12 (1.06, 1.18) for lags 1 and 2. Cellulitis developing on uncovered (more exposed) skin was analyzed separately, observed effects being stronger. Cellulitis may be associated with exposure to ambient ground level ozone; the exposure may facilitate cellulitis infection and aggravate acute symptoms.
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In the developed world, we spend most of our time indoors, where we receive the majority of our exposure to air pollution. This paper reports model simulations of PM2.5 and ozone concentrations in identical landscape offices in three European cities: Athens, Helsinki, and Milan. We compare concentrations during an intense heatwave in August 2003 with a meteorologically more typical August in 2009. During the heatwave, average indoor ozone concentrations during office hours were 44, 19, and 41 ppb in Athens, Helsinki, and Milan respectively, enhanced by 7, 4, and 17 ppb respectively relative to 2009. Total predicted PM2.5 concentrations were 13.5, 3.6, and 17.2 µg m(-3) in Athens, Helsinki, and Milan respectively, enhanced by 0.5, 0.4, and 6.7 µg m(-3) respectively relative to 2009: the three cities were affected to differing extents by the heatwave. A significant portion of the indoor PM2.5 derived from gas-phase chemistry outdoors, producing 2.5, 0.8, and 4.8 µg m(-3) of the total concentrations in Athens, Helsinki, and Milan, respectively. Despite filtering office inlet supplies to remove outdoor particles, gas-phase precursors for particles can still enter offices, where conditions are ripe for new particles to form, particularly where biogenic emissions are important outdoors. This result has important implications for indoor air quality, particularly given the current trend for green walls on buildings, which will provide a potential source of biogenic emissions near to air inlet systems.