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Title: Examining the competing effects of contemporary land management vs. land cover changes on global air quality
Abstract. Our work explores the impact of two important dimensions of landsystem changes, land use and land cover change (LULCC) as well as directagricultural reactive nitrogen (Nr) emissions from soils, on ozone(O3) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in terms of air quality overcontemporary (1992 to 2014) timescales. We account for LULCC andagricultural Nr emissions changes with consistent remote sensingproducts and new global emission inventories respectively estimating theirimpacts on global surface O3 and PM2.5 concentrations as well as Nrdeposition using the GEOS-Chem global chemical transport model. Over thistime period, our model results show that agricultural Nr emissionchanges cause a reduction of annual mean PM2.5 levels over Europe andnorthern Asia (up to −2.1 µg m−3) while increasing PM2.5 levels in India, China and the eastern US (up to +3.5 µg m−3). Land cover changes induce small reductions in PM2.5 (up to −0.7 µg m−3) over Amazonia, China and India due to reduced biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions and enhanced deposition of aerosol precursor gases (e.g., NO2, SO2). Agricultural Nr emissionchanges only lead to minor changes (up to ±0.6 ppbv) in annual meansurface O3 levels, mainly over China, India and Myanmar. Meanwhile, ourmodel result suggests a stronger impact of LULCC on surface O3 over the time period across South more » America; the combination of changes in drydeposition and isoprene emissions results in −0.8 to +1.2 ppbv surfaceozone changes. The enhancement of dry deposition reduces the surface ozone level (up to −1 ppbv) over southern China, the eastern US and central Africa. The enhancement of soil NO emission due to crop expansion also contributes to surface ozone changes (up to +0.6 ppbv) over sub-Saharan Africa. Incertain regions, the combined effects of LULCC and agricultural Nr emission changes on O3 and PM2.5 air quality can be comparable (>20 %) to anthropogenic emission changes over the same time period. Finally, we calculate that the increase in global agricultural Nr emissions leads to a net increase in global land area (+3.67×106km2) that potentially faces exceedance of the critical Nr load (>5 kg N ha−1 yr−1). Our result demonstrates the impacts of contemporary LULCC and agricultural Nr emission changes on PM2.5 and O3 in terms of air quality, as well as the importanceof land system changes for air quality over multidecadal timescales. « less
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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
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National Science Foundation
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