Isolating the Meteorological Impact of 21st Century GHG Warming on the Removal and Atmospheric Loading of Anthropogenic Fine Particulate Matter Pollution at Global Scale
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© 2018 The Authors. Particulate matter with the diameter smaller than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) poses health threats to human population. Regardless of efforts to regulate the pollution sources, it is unclear how climate change caused by greenhouse gases (GHGs) would affect PM2.5 levels. Using century-long ensemble simulations with Community Earth System Model 1 (CESM1), we show that, if the anthropogenic emissions would remain at the level in the year 2005, the global surface concentration and atmospheric column burden of sulfate, black carbon, and primary organic carbon would still increase by 5%–10% at the end of 21st century (2090–2100) due to global warming alone. The decrease in the wet removal flux of PM2.5, despite an increase in global precipitation, is the primary cause of the increase in the PM2.5 column burden. Regionally over North America and East Asia, a shift of future precipitation toward more frequent heavy events contributes to weakened wet removal fluxes. Our results suggest climate change impact needs to be accounted for to define the future emission standards necessary to meet air quality standard.
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