Sunday, August 7, 2011

Effects of Air Pollution Control on Climate

MIT Joint Program on the
Science and Policy of Global Change
Effects of Air Pollution Control on Climate
Ronald G. Prinn, John Reilly, Marcus Sarofim, Chien Wang and Benjamin Felzer
Report No. 118
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Printed on recycled paper1
Effects of Air Pollution Control on Climate
Ronald Prinn

, John Reilly
, Marcus Sarofim
, Chien Wang
 and Benjamin Felzer

Urban air pollution and climate are closely connected due to shared generating processes (e.g., combustion)
for emissions of the driving gases and aerosols. They are also connected because the atmospheric lifecycles
of common air pollutants such as CO, NOx
and VOCs, and of the climatically important methane gas (CH4
and sulfate aerosols, both involve the fast photochemistry of the hydroxyl free radical (OH). Thus policies
designed to address air pollution may impact climate and vice versa. We present calculations using a model
coupling economics, atmospheric chemistry, climate and ecosystems to illustrate some effects of air pollution
policy alone on global warming. We consider caps on emissions of NOx
, CO, volatile organic carbon, and
both individually and combined in two ways. These caps can lower ozone causing less warming, lower
sulfate aerosols yielding more warming, lower OH and thus increase CH4
giving more warming, and finally,
allow more carbon uptake by ecosystems leading to less warming. Overall, these effects significantly offset
each other suggesting that air pollution policy has a relatively small net effect on the global mean surface
temperature and sea level rise.However, our study does not account for the effects of air pollution policies on
overall demand for fossil fuels and on the choice of fuels (coal, oil, gas), nor have we considered the effects
of caps on black carbon or organic carbon aerosols on climate. These effects, if included, could lead to more
substantial impacts of capping pollutant emissions on global temperature and sea level than concluded here.
Caps on aerosols in general could also yield impacts on other important aspects of climate beyond those
addressed here, such as the regional patterns of cloudiness and precipitation.
1. Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 1
2. A chemistry primer .......................................................................................................................... 2
3. Integrated Global System Model..................................................................................................... 4
4. Numerical experiments .................................................................................................................... 6
4.1 Effects on concentrations......................................................................................................... 8
4.2 Effects on ecosystems .............................................................................................................. 9
4.3 Economic effects.................................................................................................................... 10
4.4 Effects on temperature and sea level..................................................................................... 11
5. Summary and Conclusions ............................................................................................................ 12
6. References ...................................................................................................................................... 14
Urban air pollution has a significant impact on the chemistry of the atmosphere and thus
potentially on regional and global climate. Already, air pollution is a major issue in an increasing
number of megacities around the world, and new policies to address urban air pollution are likely
to be enacted in many developing countries irrespective of the participation of these countries in
any explicit future climate policies. The emissions of gases and microscopic particles (aerosols)
that are important in air pollution and climate are often highly correlated due to shared generating
processes. Most important among these processes is combustion of fossil fuels and biomass which

 Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, MIT, Cambridge MA 02139, USA.
Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA.
Article in review for inclusion in: Human-Induced Climate Change: An Interdisciplinary Assessment, Snowmass
Workshop 10th Anniversary Volume, M. Schlesinger (editor), Cambridge University Press.2
produces carbon dioxide (CO2
), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx
), volatile organic
compounds (VOCs), black carbon (BC) aerosols, and sulfur oxides (SOx
, comprised of some
sulfate aerosols, but mostly SO2
 gas which subsequently forms white sulfate aerosols). In addition,
the atmospheric lifecycles of common air pollutants such as CO, NOx
 and VOCs, and of the
climatically important methane (CH4
) and sulfate aerosols, both involve the fast photochemistry
of the hydroxyl free radical (OH). Hydroxyl radicals are the dominant “cleansing” chemical in the
atmosphere, annually removing about 3.7 gigatons (1 gigaton = 10
 gm) of reactive trace gases
from the atmosphere; this amount is similar to the total mass of carbon removed annually from
the atmosphere by the land and ocean combined (Ehhalt, 1999; Prinn, 2003).
In this paper we report exploratory calculations designed to show some of the major effects of
specific global air pollutant emission caps on climate. In other words, could future air pollution
policies help to mitigate future climate change or exacerbate it? For this purpose, we will need to
consider carefully the connections between the chemistry of the atmosphere and climate. These
connections are complex and their nonlinearity is exemplified by the fact that concentrations of
ozone in urban areas for a given level of VOC emissions tend to increase with increasing NOx
emissions until a critical CO-dependent or VOC-dependent NOx
 emission level is reached.
Above that critical level, ozone concentrations actually decrease with increasing NOx
emphasizing the need for policies to consider CO, VOC and NOx
 emission reductions jointly
rather than independently.
In order to interpret the results of our calculations presented later, it is necessary to understand
some of the reasons for the above complexity and nonlinearity in air chemistry. Hence, the next
section provides a review of the key issues, aimed especially at the non-expert. In two sections
following that, we introduce the global model that we use for our calculations and present and
interpret the results. We end with a summary and concluding remarks.
The ability of the lower atmosphere (troposphere) to remove most air pollutants depends on
complex chemistry driven by the relatively small amount of the sun’s ultraviolet light that
penetrates through the upper atmospheric (stratospheric) ozone layer (see: Ehhalt, 1999; Prinn,
2003). This chemistry is also driven by emissions of NOx
, CO, CH4
 and VOCs and leads to the
production of O3
 and OH. Figure 1 reviews, with much simplification, the chemical reactions
involved (Prinn, 1994). The importance of this chemistry to climate change occurs because it
involves both climate-forcing greenhouse gases (H2O, CH4
, O3
) and air pollutants (CO, NO,
). It also involves aerosols (H2
, HNO3
, BC) that influence climate (through reflecting or
absorbing sunlight), productivity of ecosystems (through their exposure to O3
, and to H2
 in acid rain), and human health (through inhalation). Also important are free radicals and
atoms in two forms: very reactive species like O(
D) and OH, and less reactive ones like HO2
P), NO and NO2
Lightning CFCs
Hydrosphere Biosphere & Human Activity
Greenhouse Gases
Primary Pollutants
Absorbing Aerosols (BC)
Reactive Free Radical/Atom
Less Reactive Radicals
Reflective Aerosols
Figure 1. Summary of the chemistry in the troposphere important in the linkage between urban air
pollution and climate (after Prinn, 1994, 2003). VOCs (not shown) are similar to CH4
 in their
reactions with OH, but they form acids, aldehydes and ketones in addition to CO.
Referring to Figure 1, when OH reacts with CH4
 the CH4
 is converted mostly to CO in steps
that consume OH and also produce HO2
The OH in turn converts CO to CO2 .
, NO2
 to HNO3
, and
 to H2
)The primary OH production pathway occurs when H2O reacts with the O .
atoms that come from dissociation of O3
 by ultraviolet (UV) light. Within about a second of its
formation, on average, OH reacts with other gases, either by donating its O atom (e.g., to CO to
form CO2
 and H) or by removing H (e.g., from CH4
 to form CH3
and H2O). The H and CH3
formed in these ways attach rapidly to O2
 to form hydroperoxy (HO2
) or methylperoxy (CH3O2
free radicals which are relatively unreactive. If there is no way to rapidly recycle HO2
 back to
OH, then levels of OH are kept relatively low. The addition of NOx
 emissions into the mix
significantly changes the chemistry. Specifically, a second pathway is created in which NO
reacts with HO2
 to form NO2
 and to reform OH. Ultraviolet light then decomposes NO2
produce O atoms (which attach to O2
 to form O3
) and reform NO. Hence NOx
 (the sum of NO
and NO2
) is a catalyst which is not consumed in these reactions. The production rate of OH by
this secondary path in polluted air is about five times faster than the above primary pathway
involving O(
D) and H2O (Ehhalt, 1999). The reaction of NO with HO2
 does not act as a sink for
 (the sum of OH and HO2
) but instead determines the ratio of OH to HO2
Calculations for .4
polluted air suggest that HO2
 concentrations are about 40 times greater than OH (Ehhalt, 1999).
This is due mainly to the much greater reactivity of OH compared to HO2
If emissions of air pollutants that react with OH, such as CO, VOCs, CH4
, and SO2
, are
increasing, then keeping all else constant, OH levels should decrease. This would increase the
lifetime and hence concentrations of CH4
However, increasing NOx .
 emissions should increase
tropospheric O3
 (and hence the primary source of OH), as well as increase the recycling rate of
 to OH (the second source of OH). This OH increase should lower CH4
 concentrations. Thus
changing the level of OH causes greenhouse gas, and thus climate, changes. Climate change will
also influence OH. Higher ocean temperatures should increase H2O in the lower troposphere and
thus increase OH production through its primary pathway. Higher atmospheric temperatures also
increase the rate of reaction of OH with CH4
, decreasing the concentrations of both. Greater
cloud cover will reflect more solar ultraviolet light, thus decreasing OH, and vice versa.
Added to these interactions involving gases, are those involving aerosols. For example,
increasing SO2
 emissions and/or OH concentrations should lead to greater concentrations of
sulfate aerosols which are a cooling influence. Accounting for all of these interactions, and other
related ones (see e.g., Prinn, 2003), requires that a detailed interactive atmospheric chemistry and
climate model be used to assess the effects of air pollution reductions on climate.
For our calculations, we utilize the MIT Integrated Global System Model (IGSM). The IGSM
consists of a set of coupled submodels of economic development and its associated emissions,
natural biogeochemical cycles, climate, air pollution, and natural ecosystems (Prinn et al., 1999;
Reilly et al., 1999; Webster et al., 2002, 2003). It is specifically designed to address key
questions in the natural and social sciences that are amenable to quantitative analysis and are
relevant to environmental policy. The current structure of the IGSM is shown in Figure 2.
Chemically and radiatively important trace gases and aerosols are emitted as a result of
human activity. The Emissions Prediction and Policy Analysis (EPPA) submodel incorporates
the major relevant demographic, economic, trade, and technical issues involved in these
emissions at the national and global levels. Natural emissions of these gases are also important
and are computed in the Natural Emissions Model (NEM) which is driven by IGSM predictions
of climate and ecosystem states around the world.
The coupled atmospheric chemistry and climate submodel is in turn driven by the
combination of these anthropogenic and natural emissions. This submodel includes atmospheric
and oceanic chemistry and circulation, and land hydrological processes. The atmospheric
chemistry component has sufficient detail to include its sensitivity to climate and different mixes
of emissions, and to address the effects on climate of policies proposed for control of air
pollution and vice versa (Wang et al., 1998; Mayer et al., 2000). Of particular importance to the
calculations presented here, the urban air pollution (UAP) submodel is based upon, and designed5
soil Carbon
soil Nitrogen
land use
vegetative C,
NPP, soil C, soil N
national and/or regional economic
development, emissions, land use
coupled ocean,
and land
(2D-LO-2D or 2D-LO-3D)
CO2, CH4, N2O, NOx, SOx, CO, NH3,
C F C s,  H F C s,  P F C s,  S F6, VOC s,  B C , et c .
clouds, CO2
Figure 2. Schematic illustrating the framework, submodels, and processes in the MIT Integrated
Global System Model (IGSM). Feedbacks between the component models that are currently
included, or proposed for inclusion in later versions, are shown as solid or dashed lines
respectively (adapted from Prinn et al., 1999).
to simulate, the detailed chemical and dynamical processes in current 3D urban air chemistry
models (Mayer et al., 2000). For this purpose, the emissions calculated in the EPPA submodel
are divided into two parts: urban emissions which are processed by the UAP submodel before
entering the global chemistry/climate submodel, and non-urban emissions which are input
directly into the large-scale model. The UAP enables simultaneous consideration of control
policies applied to local air pollution and global climate. It also provides the capability to assess
the effects of air pollution on ecosystems, and to predict levels of irritants important to human
health in the growing number of megacities around the world. The atmospheric and oceanic
circulation components in the IGSM are simplified compared to the most complex models
available, but they capture the major processes and, with appropriate parameter choices, can
mimic quite well the zonal-average behavior of the complex models (Sokolov and Stone, 1998;
Sokolov et al., 2003). We use the version of the IGSM with 2D atmospheric and 2D oceanic6
submodels here, although the latest version has a 3D ocean to capture better the deep ocean
circulations that serve as heat and CO2
 sinks (Kamenkovich et al., 2002, 2003). The 2D/2D
version we use here resolves separately the land and ocean (LO) processes at each latitude and so
is referred to as the 2D-LO-2D version.
The outputs from the coupled atmospheric chemistry and climate model then drive a
Terrestrial Ecosystems Model (TEM; Xiao et al., 1998) which calculates key vegetation
properties including production of vegetation mass, land-atmosphere CO2
 exchanges, and soil
nutrient contents in 18 globally distributed ecosystems. TEM then feeds back its computed CO2
fluxes to the climate/atmospheric chemistry submodel, and its soil nutrient contents to NEM, to
complete the IGSM interactions. The current IGSM does not include treatment of black carbon
(BC) aerosols (see Figure 1). Detailed studies with a global 3D chemistry and climate model
indicate multiple, regionally variable and partially-offsetting, effects of BC on absorption and
reflection of sunlight, reflectivity of clouds, and the strength of lower tropospheric convection
(Wang, 2004). These detailed studies also suggest important BC-induced changes in the
geographic pattern of precipitation, not surprisingly since aerosols have important and complex
effects on cloud formation, and on whether clouds will even produce precipitation. Methods to
capture these effects in the IGSM are currently being explored. In light of the difficulty in
simulating these and other regional effects, the numerical results presented here are limited to
temperature and sea level effects, primarily at the global and hemispheric level.
To investigate, at least qualitatively, some of the important potential impacts of controls of air
pollutants on temperature, we have carried out runs of the IGSM in which individual pollutant
emissions, or combinations of these emissions, are held constant from 2005 to 2100. These are
compared to a reference run (denoted “ref”) in which there is no explicit policy to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions (see Reilly et al., 1999; Webster et al., 2002).
Specifically, in five runs of the IGSM, we consider caps at 2005 levels of emissions of the
following air pollutants:
(1) NOx
 only (denoted “NOx
(2) CO plus VOCs only (denoted “CO/VOC cap”),
(3) SOx
 only (denoted “SOx
(4) Cases (1) and (2) combined (denoted “3 cap”),
(5) Cases (1), (2) and (3) combined (denoted “all cap”).
Cases (1) and (2) are designed to show the individual effects of controls on NOx
 and reactive
carbon gases (CO, VOC), although such individual actions are very unlikely. Case (3) addresses
further controls on emissions of sulfur oxides from combustion of fossil fuels and biomass, and
from industrial processes. Cases (4) and (5) address combinations more likely to be
representative of a real comprehensive air pollution control approach.7
One important caveat in interpreting our results is that we are neglecting the effects of air
pollutant controls on: (a) the overall demand for fossil fuels (e.g., leading to greater efficiencies
in energy usage and/or greater demand for non-fossil energy sources), and (b), the relative mix of
fossil fuels used in the energy sector (i.e. coal versus oil versus gas). Consideration of these
effects, which may be very important, will require calculation in the EPPA model of the impacts
of NOx
, CO, VOC and SOx
 emission reductions on the cost of using coal, oil, and gas. Such
calculations have not yet been included in the current global economic models (including EPPA)
used to address the climate issue. Such inclusion requires relating results from existing very
detailed studies of costs of meeting near-term air pollution control to the more aggregated
structure, and longer time horizon, of models used to examine climate policy.
In Figure 3 we show the ratios of the emissions of NOx
, CO/VOC, and SOx
 in the year 2100
to the reference case in 2100 when their emissions are capped at 2005 levels. Because these
chemicals are short-lived (hours to several days for NOx
, VOCs, and SOx
, few months for CO),
the effects of their emissions are largely restricted to the hemispheres in which they are emitted
(and for the shortest-lived pollutants restricted to their source regions). Figure 3 therefore shows
hemispheric as well as global emission ratios. For calibration, the reference global emissions of
, CO/VOC, and SOx
 in 2100 are about 5, 2.5, and 1.5 times their 2000 levels.
Ratio of Emissions to Global
 Reference in 2100
Figure 3. Global, northern hemispheric (NH) and southern hemispheric (SH) emissions in the year
2100 of CO/VOC, NOx
 and SOx
, when they are capped at 2005 levels (CAP), are shown as ratios to
emissions in the reference (REF) case (no caps).8
4.1 Effects on concentrations
In Figure 4, the global and hemispheric average lower tropospheric concentrations of CH4
, sulfate aerosols, and OH in each of the above five capping cases are shown as percentage
changes from the relevant global or hemispheric reference. From Figure 4a, the major global
effects of capping SOx
 are to decrease sulfate aerosols and slightly increase OH (due to lower
 which is an OH sink). Capping of NOx
 leads to decreases in O3
 and OH and an increase in
 (caused by the lower OH which is a CH4
 sink). The CO and VOC cap increases OH and
thus increases sulfate (formed by OH and SO2
) and decreases CH4
Note that CO and VOC .
changes have opposing effects on O3
 so the net changes when they are capped together are small.
Combining NOx
, CO and VOC caps leads to an O3
 decrease (driven largely by the NOx
and a slight increase in CH4
 (the enhancement due to the NOx
 caps being partially offset by the
opposing CO/VOC caps). Finally, capping all emissions causes substantial lowering of sulfate
aerosols and O3
 and a small increase in CH4
The two hemispheres generally respond somewhat differently to these caps due to the short
air pollutant lifetimes and dominance of northern over southern hemispheric emissions (Figs. 4b
and 4c). The northern hemisphere contributes the most to the global averages and therefore
responds similarly (compare Figs. 4a and 4c). The southern hemisphere shows very similar
decreases in sulfate aerosol from its reference when compared to the northern hemisphere when
either SOx
 or all emissions are capped (compare Figs. 4b and 4c).
When compared to the southern hemisphere, the northern hemispheric ozone levels decrease
by much larger percentages below their northern hemisphere reference when either NOx
/CO/VOC, or all emissions are capped. Capping NOx
 emissions leads to significant
decreases in OH and thus increases in methane in both hemispheres (Figs. 4b and 4c). Because
methane has a long lifetime (about 9 years, Prinn et al., 2001) relative to the interhemispheric
(a) Global
Change from Reference in 2100
(c) Northern Hemisphere
allcap allcap
(b) Southern Hemisphere
Figure 4. Concentrations of climatically and chemically important species (CH4
, O3
, aerosols, OH) in
the five cases with capped emissions are shown as percent changes from their relevant global
or hemispheric average values in the reference case for the year 2100: (a) global-average;
(b) southern hemispheric; and (c) northern hemispheric concentrations.9
mixing time (about 1 to 2 years), its global concentrations are influenced by OH changes in
either hemisphere alone, or in both. Hence CH4
 also increases in both hemispheres when
/CO/VOC or all emissions are capped even though the OH decreases only occur in the
northern hemisphere in these two cases (see Figs. 4b and 4c).
4.2 Effects on ecosystems
Effects of air pollution on the land ecosystem sink for carbon can be significant due to
reductions in ozone-induced plant damage (Figure 5, see also Felzer et al., 2004). Net primary
production (NPP, the difference between plant photosynthesis and plant respiration), as well as
net ecosystem production (NEP, which is the difference between NPP and soil respiration plus
decay, and represents the net land sink), both increase when ozone decreases. This is evident in
the case illustrated in Figure 5 where all pollutants are capped and ozone decreased by about
13% globally (Figure 4a). The effect is even greater when we assume that cropland and managed
forests receive optimal levels of nitrogen fertilizer (“with Fertilizer” case; Felzer et al., 2004a,b).
The land sink (NEP) is increased by 30 to 49% or 0.6 to 0.9 gigatons of carbon (in CO2
) in 2100
through the illustrated pollution caps (Figure 5, 1 gigaton=10
These ecosystem calculations do not include the additional positive effects on NPP and NEP
of decreased acid deposition and decreased exposure to SO2
 and NO2
 gas, that would result from
the pollution caps considered. They also do not include the negative effects on NPP and NEP of
decreasing nutrient nitrate and possibly sulfate deposition that also arise from these caps.
Net Primary Production Net Ecosystem Production
(photosynthesis minus respiration) (Carbon sink)
Percent Change from Reference in 2100
without Fertilizer
with Fertilizer
Figure 5. Net annual uptake of carbon by vegetation alone (net primary production) and vegetation
plus soils (net ecosystem production, the land carbon sink) for the NOx
/CO plus VOC capped
(allcap) case is shown for the year 2100 as a percentage change from the reference case. The
results show the effects with optimal nitrogen use through fertilization on cropland (with
Fertilizer) or with levels of nitrogen in croplands assumed to be the same as those in equivalent
natural ecosystems (without Fertilizer).10
4.3 Economic effects
If we could confidently value damages associated with climate change, we could estimate the
avoided damages in dollar terms resulting from reductions in temperature due to the lowered
level of atmospheric CO2
 caused by the above increases in the land carbon sink achieved with
the ozone caps. We could similarly value the temperature changes due to caps in other pollutants
besides ozone. However monetary damage estimates suffer from numerous shortcomings (e.g.,
Jacoby, 2004). Felzer et al. (2004a,b) valued increases in carbon storage in ecosystems due to
decreased ozone exposure in terms of the avoided costs of fossil fuel CO2
 reductions needed to
achieve an atmospheric stabilization target. The particular target they examined was 550 ppm
The above extra annual carbon uptake (due to avoided ozone damage) of 0.6 to 0.9 gigatons .
of carbon is only 2 to 4% of year 2100 reference projections of anthropogenic fossil CO2
emissions (which reach nearly 25 gigatonsC/year in 2100 according to Felzer et al. (2004b)).
However, as these authors point out, this small level of additional uptake can have a surprisingly
large effect on the cost of achieving a climate policy goal. Here we conduct a similar analysis
using a 5% discount rate, and adopting the policy costs associated with 550 ppm CO2
stabilization, to estimate the policy cost savings that would result from the increased carbon
uptake through 2100 in the “allcap” compared to the “ref” scenarios shown in Figure 5. The
savings are $2.5 (“without Fertilizer”) to $4.7 (“with Fertilizer”) trillion (1997 dollars). These
implied savings are 12 to 22% of the total cost of a 550ppm stabilization policy.
The disproportionately large economic value of the additional carbon uptake has two reasons.
One reason is that the fossil carbon reduction savings are cumulative; the total reference 2000-
2100 carbon uptake is 36 (without Fertilizer) and 75 (with Fertilizer) gigatons, or about 6 to 13
years of fossil carbon emissions at current annual rates. A second reason is that the additional
uptake avoids the highest marginal cost options. This assumes that the implemented policies
would be cost effective in the sense that the least costly carbon reduction options would be used
first, and more costly options would only be used later if needed. An important caveat here is
that, as shown in Felzer et al. (2004a,b), a carbon emissions reduction policy also reduces ozone
precursors so that an additional cap on these precursors associated with air pollution policy
results in a smaller additional reduction, and less avoided ecosystem damage. A pollution cap as
examined here, assuming there was also a 550ppm carbon policy in place, leads to only a 0.1 to
0.8 gigaton increase in the land sink in 2100 (compare 0.6 to 0.9 gigatons in Figure 5) and a
cumulative 2000-2100 increase of carbon uptake of 13 to 40 gigatons of carbon, which is about
one-half of the above increased cumulative uptake when the pollution cap occurs assuming there
is no climate policy.11
4.4 Effects on temperature and sea level
The impact of these various pollutant caps on global and hemispheric mean surface
temperature and sea level changes from 2000 to 2100 are shown in Figure 6 as percentages
relative to the global-average reference case changes of 2.7°C and 0.4 meters respectively.
The largest increases in temperature and sea level occur when SOx
 alone is capped due to the
removal of reflecting (cooling) sulfate aerosols. Because most SOx
 emissions are in the northern
hemisphere, the temperature increases are greatest there. For the NOx
 caps, temperature increases
in the southern hemisphere (driven by the CH4
 increases), but decreases in the northern
hemisphere (due to the cooling effects of the O3
 decreases exceeding the warming driven by the
 increases). For CO and VOC reductions, there are small decreases in temperature driven by
the accompanying aerosol increases and CH4
 reductions, with the greatest effects being in the
northern hemisphere where most of the CO and VOC emissions (and aerosol production) occur.
When NOx
, CO, and VOCs are all capped, the nonlinearity in the system is evidenced by the
fact that the combined effects are not simple sums of the effects from the individual caps. Ozone
Temperature (global)
Temperature (SH)
Temperature (NH)
Sea Level Rise
Difference from Reference (Global, SH, NH) Warming
Figure 6. Effects of air pollution caps in the five capping cases on the global, northern hemispheric
and southern hemispheric average temperature increases, and the global sea level rise,
between 2000 and 2100 are shown as percent changes from their average values (global or
hemispheric) in the reference case. Also shown are the equivalent results for the case where the
enhanced sink due to the ozone cap is included along with the caps on all pollutants. For this
case, we assume the average of the fertilized and non-fertilized sink enhancements from
Figure 5.12
decreases and aerosol increases (offset only slightly by CH4
 increases) lead to even less warming
and sea level rise than obtained by adding the CO/VOC and NOx
 capping cases. Finally the
capping of all emissions yields temperature and sea level rises that are smaller but qualitatively
similar to the case where only SOx
 is capped, but the rises are greater than expected from simple
addition of the SOx
-capped and CO/VOC/NOx
-capped cases. Nevertheless, the capping of CO,
VOC and NOx
 serves to reduce the warming induced by the capping of SOx
Note that these climate calculations in Figure 6 omit the cooling effects of the CO2
caused by the lessening of the inhibition of the land sink by ozone (Figure 5). This omission is
valid if we presume that anthropogenic CO2
 emissions, otherwise restricted by a climate policy,
are allowed to increase to compensate for these reductions. This was the basis for our economic
analysis in the previous section. To illustrate the lowering of climate impacts if we allowed the
sink-related CO2
 reductions to occur, we show a sixth case in Figure 6 (“allcap+sink”) which
combines the capping of all air pollutant emissions with the enhanced carbon sink from Figure 5.
Now we see that the sign of the warming and sea level rise seen in the “allcap” case is reversed
in the “allcap+sink” case. If we could value this lowering of climate impacts, it would provide an
alternative to the economic analysis in section 4.3.
To illustrate some of the impacts of air pollution policy on climate change, we examined five
highly idealized but informative scenarios for placing caps on emissions of SOx
, NOx
, CO plus
 plus CO plus VOCs, and all of these pollutants combined. These caps kept global
emissions at 2005 levels through 2100 and their effects on climate were compared to a reference
run with no caps applied. Our purpose was not to claim that these scenarios are in any way
realistic or likely, but rather that they served to illustrate quite well the complex interactions
between air pollutant emissions and changes in temperature and sea level.
In general, placing caps on NOx
 alone, or NOx
, CO and VOCs together, leads to lower ozone
levels, and thus less radiative forcing of climate change by this gas, and to less inhibition by ozone
of carbon uptake by ecosystems which also leads to less radiative forcing (this time by CO2
). Less
radiative forcing by these combined effects means less warming and less sea level rise.
Placing caps on NOx
 alone also leads to decreases in OH and thus increases in CH4
These OH .
decreases and CH4
 increases are lessened (but not reversed) when there are simultaneous NOx
CO and VOC caps. Increases in CH4
 lead to greater radiative forcing. Placing caps on SOx
to lower sulfate aerosols, less reflection of sunlight back to space by these aerosols (direct effect)
and by clouds seeded with these aerosols (indirect effect), and thus to greater radiative forcing of
climate change due to solar radiation. Enhanced radiative forcing by these aerosol and CH4
changes combined leads to more warming and sea level rise. Hence these impacts on climate of
the pollutant caps partially cancel each other. Specifically, depending on the capping case, the
2000-2100 reference global average climate changes are altered only by +4.8 to –2.6%13
(temperature) and +2.2 to –2.2 % (sea level). Except for the NOx
 alone case, the alterations of
temperature are of the same sign but significantly greater in the northern hemisphere (where
most of the emissions and emission reductions occur) than in the southern hemisphere. Note that
for the NOx
 alone caps, the temperature decrease caused by ozone reductions is greater than the
temperature increase driven by methane increases in the northern hemisphere while the opposite
is true in the southern hemisphere (Figure 6).
It is well established that urban air pollution control policies are beneficial for human health
and downwind ecosystems. As far as ancillary benefits are concerned, our calculations suggest
that air pollution policies may have only a small influence, either positive or negative, on
mitigation of global-scale climate change. However, even small contributions to climate change
mitigation can be disproportionately important in economic terms. This occurs because, as we
show in the case of increased carbon uptake, these effects mean that the highest cost climate
change mitigation measures, those occurring at the margin, can be avoided. To further check on
the validity of our conclusions, future work should include:
(1) the effects of air pollution policy on overall demand for fossil fuels and individual
demands for coal, oil and gas;
(2) the effects of caps on black carbon (as a regulated air pollutant) on climate;
(3) the effects on ecosystems of changes in deposition rates of acids, nitrates, and sulfates
and levels of exposure to SO2
 and NO2
 resulting from air pollution reductions.
This research was supported by the U.S Department of Energy, U.S. National Science Foundation, and the
Industry Sponsors of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change: Alstom Power
(France), American Electric Power (USA), BP p.l.c. (UK/USA), ChevronTexaco Corporation (USA),
DaimlerChrysler AG (Germany), Duke Energy (USA), J-Power (Electric Power Development Co., Ltd.)
(Japan), Electric Power Research Institute (USA), Electricité de France, ExxonMobil Corporation (USA),
Ford Motor Company (USA), General Motors (USA), Mirant (USA), Murphy Oil Corporation (USA),
Oglethorpe Power Corporation (USA), RWE/Rheinbraun (Germany), Shell International Petroleum
(Netherlands/UK), Statoil (Norway), Tennessee Valley Authority (USA), Tokyo Electric Power Company
(Japan), TotalFinaElf (France), Vetlesen Foundation (USA).14
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2004b: Past and future effects of ozone on net primary production and carbon sequestration using a
global biogeochemical model. MIT JPSPGC Report 103
(; Climatic Change, in press
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Environmental Change Part A, 14(3): 287-279; MIT JPSPGC Reprint 2004-7.
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statistical-dynamical atmosphere. Climate Dynamics, 1: 585-598.
Kamenkovich, I.V., Sokolov, A.P. and Stone, P., 2003: Feedbacks affecting the response of the
thermohaline circulation to increasing CO2
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Resources, 28: 29-57.
Prinn, R.G., Huang, J., Weiss, R., Cunnold, D., Fraser, P., Simmonds, P., McCulloch, A., Harth, C.,
Salameh, P., O’Doherty, S., Wang, R., Porter, L., and Miller, B., 2001: Evidence for substantial
variations of atmospheric hydroxyl radicals in the past two decades. Science, 292:1882-1888.
Prinn, R.G., Jacoby, H., Sokolov, A., Wang, C., Xiao, X., Yang, Z., Eckaus, R., Stone, P., Ellerman,
A.D., Melillo, J., Fitzmaurice, J., Kicklighter, D., Holian, G. and Liu, Y., 1999: Integrated Global
System Model for climate policy assessment: feedbacks and sensitivity studies. Climatic Change, 41:
Reilly, J., Prinn, R., Harnisch, J., Fitzmaurice, J., Jacoby, H., Kicklighter, D., Melillo, J., Stone, P.,
Sokolov, A. and Wang, C., 1999: Multi-gas assessment of the Kyoto Protocol. Nature, 401: 549-555.
Sokolov, A., and Stone, P., 1998: A flexible climate model for use in integrated assessments. Climate
Dynamics, 14: 291-303.
Sokolov, A., Forest, C.E. and Stone, P., 2003: Comparing oceanic heat uptake in AOGCM transient
climate change experiments. J. Climate, 16: 1573-1582.
Wang, C., Prinn, R. and Sokolov, A., 1998: A global interactive chemistry and climate model:
Formulation and testing. J. Geophysical Research, 103: 3399-3417.
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Uncertainty in emissions projections for climate models. Atmospheric Environment, 36: 3659-3670.
Webster, M.D., Forest, C.E., Reilly, J.M., Babiker, M., Kicklighter, D., Mayer, M., Prinn, R.G., Sarofim,
M., Sokolov, A., Stone, P.H., and Wang, C., 2003: Uncertainty analysis of climate change and policy
response. Climatic Change, 61: 295-320.
Xiao, X., Melillo, J., Kicklighter, D., McGuire, A., Prinn, R., Wang, C., Stone, P. and Sokolov, A., 1998:
Transient climate change and net ecosystem production of the terrestrial biosphere. Global
Biogeochemical Cycles, 12: 345-360.REPORT SERIES of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change
Contact the Joint Program Office to request a copy. The Report Series is distributed at no charge.
1. Uncertainty in Climate Change Policy Analysis Jacoby & Prinn December 1994
2. Description and Validation of the MIT Version of the GISS 2D Model Sokolov & Stone June 1995
3. Responses of Primary Production and Carbon Storage to Changes in Climate and Atmospheric CO2
Concentration Xiao et al. Oct 1995
4. Application of the Probabilistic Collocation Method for an Uncertainty Analysis Webster et al. Jan. 1996
5. World Energy Consumption and CO2
 Emissions: 1950-2050 Schmalensee et al. April 1996
6. The MIT Emission Prediction and Policy Analysis (EPPA) Model Yang et al. May 1996
7. Integrated Global System Model for Climate Policy Analysis Prinn et al. June 1996 (superseded by No. 36)
8. Relative Roles of Changes in CO2
 and Climate to Equilibrium Responses of Net Primary Production and
Carbon Storage Xiao et al. June 1996
9. CO2
 Emissions Limits: Economic Adjustments and the Distribution of Burdens Jacoby et al. July 1997
10. Modeling the Emissions of N2O & CH4
 from the Terrestrial Biosphere to the Atmosphere Liu August 1996
11. Global Warming Projections: Sensitivity to Deep Ocean Mixing Sokolov & Stone September 1996
12. Net Primary Production of Ecosystems in China and its Equilibrium Responses to Climate Changes Xiao
et al. November 1996
13. Greenhouse Policy Architectures and Institutions Schmalensee November 1996
14. What Does Stabilizing Greenhouse Gas Concentrations Mean? Jacoby et al. November 1996
15. Economic Assessment of CO2
 Capture and Disposal Eckaus et al. December 1996
16. What Drives Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon? Pfaff December 1996
17. A Flexible Climate Model For Use In Integrated Assessments Sokolov & Stone March 1997
18. Transient Climate Change and Potential Croplands of the World in the 21st Century Xiao et al. May 1997
19. Joint Implementation: Lessons from Title IV’s Voluntary Compliance Programs Atkeson June 1997
20. Parameterization of Urban Sub-grid Scale Processes in Global Atmospheric Chemistry Models Calbo et
al. July 1997
21. Needed: A Realistic Strategy for Global Warming Jacoby, Prinn & Schmalensee August 1997
22. Same Science, Differing Policies; The Saga of Global Climate Change Skolnikoff August 1997
23. Uncertainty in the Oceanic Heat and Carbon Uptake & their Impact on Climate Projections Sokolov et al.
September 1997
24. A Global Interactive Chemistry and Climate Model Wang, Prinn & Sokolov September 1997
25. Interactions Among Emissions, Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Change Wang & Prinn Sept. 1997
26. Necessary Conditions for Stabilization Agreements Yang & Jacoby October 1997
27. Annex I Differentiation Proposals: Implications for Welfare, Equity and Policy Reiner & Jacoby Oct. 1997
28. Transient Climate Change and Net Ecosystem Production of the Terrestrial Biosphere Xiao et al.
November 1997
29. Analysis of CO2
 Emissions from Fossil Fuel in Korea: 1961−1994 Choi November 1997
30. Uncertainty in Future Carbon Emissions: A Preliminary Exploration Webster November 1997
31. Beyond Emissions Paths: Rethinking the Climate Impacts of Emissions Protocols Webster & Reiner
November 1997
32. Kyoto’s Unfinished Business Jacoby, Prinn & Schmalensee June 1998
33. Economic Development and the Structure of the Demand for Commercial Energy Judson et al. April 1998
34. Combined Effects of Anthropogenic Emissions & Resultant Climatic Changes on Atmospheric OH Wang
& Prinn April 1998
35. Impact of Emissions, Chemistry, and Climate on Atmospheric Carbon Monoxide Wang & Prinn April 1998
36. Integrated Global System Model for Climate Policy Assessment: Feedbacks and Sensitivity Studies Prinn
et al. June 1998
37. Quantifying the Uncertainty in Climate Predictions Webster & Sokolov July 1998
38. Sequential Climate Decisions Under Uncertainty: An Integrated Framework Valverde et al. Sept. 1998
39. Uncertainty in Atmospheric CO2
 (Ocean Carbon Cycle Model Analysis) Holian Oct. 1998 (superseded by No. 80)
40. Analysis of Post-Kyoto CO2
 Emissions Trading Using Marginal Abatement Curves Ellerman & Decaux
October 1998REPORT SERIES of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change
Contact the Joint Program Office to request a copy. The Report Series is distributed at no charge.
41. The Effects on Developing Countries of the Kyoto Protocol and CO2
 Emissions Trading Ellerman et al.
November 1998
42. Obstacles to Global CO2
 Trading: A Familiar Problem Ellerman November 1998
43. The Uses and Misuses of Technology Development as a Component of Climate Policy Jacoby Nov. 1998
44. Primary Aluminum Production: Climate Policy, Emissions and Costs Harnisch et al. December 1998
45. Multi-Gas Assessment of the Kyoto Protocol Reilly et al. January 1999
46. From Science to Policy: The Science-Related Politics of Climate Change Policy in the U.S. Skolnikoff January
47. Constraining Uncertainties in Climate Models Using Climate Change Detection Techniques Forest et al.
April 1999
48. Adjusting to Policy Expectations in Climate Change Modeling Shackley et al. May 1999
49. Toward a Useful Architecture for Climate Change Negotiations Jacoby et al. May 1999
50. A Study of the Effects of Natural Fertility, Weather and Productive Inputs in Chinese Agriculture Eckaus
& Tso July 1999
51. Japanese Nuclear Power and the Kyoto Agreement Babiker, Reilly & Ellerman August 1999
52. Interactive Chemistry and Climate Models in Global Change Studies Wang & Prinn September 1999
53. Developing Country Effects of Kyoto-Type Emissions Restrictions Babiker & Jacoby October 1999
54. Model Estimates of the Mass Balance of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets Bugnion October 1999
55. Changes in Sea-Level Associated with Modifications of Ice Sheets over 21st Century Bugnion Oct. 1999
56. The Kyoto Protocol and Developing Countries Babiker, Reilly & Jacoby October 1999
57. Can EPA Regulate Greenhouse Gases Before the Senate Ratifies the Kyoto Protocol? Bugnion & Reiner
November 1999
58. Multiple Gas Control Under the Kyoto Agreement Reilly, Mayer & Harnisch March 2000
59. Supplementarity: An Invitation for Monopsony? Ellerman & Sue Wing April 2000
60. A Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean Model of Intermediate Complexity Kamenkovich et al. May 2000
61. Effects of Differentiating Climate Policy by Sector: A U.S. Example Babiker et al. May 2000
62. Constraining Climate Model Properties Using Optimal Fingerprint Detection Methods Forest et al. May 2000
63. Linking Local Air Pollution to Global Chemistry and Climate Mayer et al. June 2000
64. The Effects of Changing Consumption Patterns on the Costs of Emission Restrictions Lahiri et al. Aug. 2000
65. Rethinking the Kyoto Emissions Targets Babiker & Eckaus August 2000
66. Fair Trade and Harmonization of Climate Change Policies in Europe Viguier September 2000
67. The Curious Role of “Learning” in Climate Policy: Should We Wait for More Data? Webster October 2000
68. How to Think About Human Influence on Climate Forest, Stone & Jacoby October 2000
69. Tradable Permits for Greenhouse Gas Emissions: A primer with reference to Europe Ellerman Nov. 2000
70. Carbon Emissions and The Kyoto Commitment in the European Union Viguier et al. February 2001
71. The MIT Emissions Prediction and Policy Analysis Model: Revisions, Sensitivities and Results Babiker et al.
February 2001
72. Cap and Trade Policies in the Presence of Monopoly and Distortionary Taxation Fullerton & Metcalf
March 2001
73. Uncertainty Analysis of Global Climate Change Projections Webster et al. March 2001 (superseded by No. 95)
74. The Welfare Costs of Hybrid Carbon Policies in the European Union Babiker et al. June 2001
75.  Feedbacks Affecting the Response of the Thermohaline Circulation to Increasing CO2
Kamenkovich et al.
July 2001
76. CO2
 Abatement by Multi-fueled Electric Utilities: An Analysis Based on Japanese Data Ellerman & Tsukada
July 2001
77. Comparing Greenhouse Gases Reilly, Babiker & Mayer July 2001
78. Quantifying Uncertainties in Climate System Properties using Recent Climate Observations Forest et al.
July 2001
79. Uncertainty in Emissions Projections for Climate Models Webster et al. August 2001REPORT SERIES of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change
Contact the Joint Program Office to request a copy. The Report Series is distributed at no charge.
80. Uncertainty in Atmospheric CO2
 Predictions from a Global Ocean Carbon Cycle Model Holian et al.
September 2001
81. A Comparison of the Behavior of AO GCMs in Transient Climate Change Experiments Sokolov et al.
December 2001
82. The Evolution of a Climate Regime: Kyoto to Marrakech Babiker, Jacoby & Reiner February 2002
83. The “Safety Valve” and Climate Policy Jacoby & Ellerman February 2002
84. A Modeling Study on the Climate Impacts of Black Carbon Aerosols Wang March 2002
85. Tax Distortions and Global Climate Policy Babiker, Metcalf & Reilly May 2002
86.  Incentive-based Approaches for Mitigating GHG Emissions: Issues and Prospects for India Gupta June 2002
87. Deep-Ocean Heat Uptake in an Ocean GCM with Idealized Geometry Huang, Stone & Hill September 2002
88. The Deep-Ocean Heat Uptake in Transient Climate Change Huang et al. September 2002
89. Representing Energy Technologies in Top-down Economic Models using Bottom-up Info McFarland et
al. October 2002
90. Ozone Effects on Net Primary Production and C Sequestration in the U.S. Using a Biogeochemistry
Model Felzer et al. November 2002
91. Exclusionary Manipulation of Carbon Permit Markets: A Laboratory Test Carlén November 2002
92. An Issue of Permanence: Assessing the Effectiveness of Temporary Carbon Storage Herzog et al. Dec. 2002
93. Is International Emissions Trading Always Beneficial? Babiker et al. December 2002
94. Modeling Non-CO2
 Greenhouse Gas Abatement Hyman et al. December 2002
95. Uncertainty Analysis of Climate Change and Policy Response Webster et al. December 2002
96. Market Power in International Carbon Emissions Trading: A Laboratory Test Carlén January 2003
97. Emissions Trading to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the U.S.: The McCain-Lieberman Proposal
Paltsev et al. June 2003
98. Russia’s Role in the Kyoto Protocol Bernard et al. June 2003
99. Thermohaline Circulation Stability: A Box Model Study Lucarini & Stone June 2003
100. Absolute vs. Intensity-Based Emissions Caps Ellerman & Sue Wing July 2003
101. Technology Detail in a Multi-Sector CGE Model: Transport Under Climate Policy Schafer & Jacoby July 2003
102. Induced Technical Change and the Cost of Climate Policy Sue Wing September 2003
103. Effects of Ozone on NPP and Carbon Sequestration Using a Global Biogeochemical Model Felzer et al.
January 2004
104. A Modeling Analysis of Methane Exchanges Between Alaskan Ecosystems and the Atmosphere Zhuang
et al. November 2003
105. Analysis of Strategies of Companies under Carbon Constraint Hashimoto January 2004
106. Climate Prediction: The Limits of Ocean Models Stone February 2004
107. Informing Climate Policy Given Incommensurable Benefits Estimates Jacoby February 2004
108. Methane Fluxes Between Ecosystems & Atmosphere at High Latitudes During the Past Century Zhuang
et al. March 2004
109. Sensitivity of Climate to Diapycnal Diffusivity in the Ocean Dalan et al. May 2004
110. Stabilization and Global Climate Policy Sarofim et al. July 2004
111. Technology and Technical Change in the MIT EPPA Model Jacoby et al. July 2004
112. The Cost of Kyoto Protocol Targets: The Case of Japan Paltsev et al. July 2004
113. Air Pollution Health Effects: Toward an Integrated Assessment Yang et al. July 2004
114. The Role of Non-CO2
 Greenhouse Gases in Climate Policy: Analysis Using the MIT IGSM Reilly et al. Aug 2004
115. Future United States Energy Security Concerns Deutch September 2004
116. Explaining Long-Run Changes in the Energy Intensity of the U.S. Economy Sue Wing September 2004
117. Modeling the Transport Sector: The Role of Existing Fuel Taxes in Climate Policy Paltsev et al. Nov. 2004
118. Effects of Air Pollution Control on Climate Prinn et al. January 2005

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