How vegetation impacts affect climate metrics for ozone precursors
Collins, W. J., Sitch, S. and Boucher, O. (2010) How vegetation impacts affect climate metrics for ozone precursors. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115 (D23). ISSN 0148-0227
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/2010JD014187
We examine the effect of ozone damage to vegetation as caused by anthropogenic emissions of ozone precursor species and quantify it in terms of its impact on terrestrial carbon stores. A simple climate model is then used to assess the expected changes in global surface temperature from the resulting perturbations to atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and ozone. The concept of global temperature change potential (GTP) metric, which relates the global average surface temperature change induced by the pulse emission of a species to that induced by a unit mass of carbon dioxide, is used to characterize the impact of changes in emissions of ozone precursors on surface temperature as a function of time. For NOx emissions, the longer-timescale methane perturbation is of the opposite sign to the perturbations in ozone and carbon dioxide, so NOx emissions are warming in the short term, but cooling in the long term. For volatile organic compound (VOC), CO, and methane emissions, all the terms are warming for an increase in emissions. The GTPs for the 20 year time horizon are strong functions of emission location, with a large component of the variability owing to the different vegetation responses on different continents. At this time horizon, the induced change in the carbon cycle is the largest single contributor to the GTP metric for NOx and VOC emissions. For NOx emissions, we estimate a GTP20 of −9 (cooling) to +24 (warming) depending on assumptions of the sensitivity of vegetation types to ozone damage.