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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 240894, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/240894
Research Article

Modeling Effects of Climate Change on Air Quality and Population Exposure in Urban Planning Scenarios

1Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, 601 76 Norrköping, Sweden
2Environment and Health Administration, Box 8136, 104 20 Stockholm, Sweden
3Department of Applied Environmental Science, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

Received 15 March 2012; Revised 29 June 2012; Accepted 11 July 2012

Academic Editor: Eugene Rozanov

Copyright © 2012 Lars Gidhagen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

We employ a nested system of global and regional climate models, linked to regional and urban air quality chemical transport models utilizing detailed inventories of present and future emissions, to study the relative impact of climate change and changing air pollutant emissions on air quality and population exposure in Stockholm, Sweden. We show that climate change only marginally affects air quality over the 20-year period studied. An exposure assessment reveals that the population of Stockholm can expect considerably lower NO2 exposure in the future, mainly due to reduced local NOx emissions. Ozone exposure will decrease only slightly, due to a combination of increased concentrations in the city centre and decreasing concentrations in the suburban areas. The increase in ozone concentration is a consequence of decreased local NOx emissions, which reduces the titration of the long-range transported ozone. Finally, we evaluate the consequences of a planned road transit project on future air quality in Stockholm. The construction of a very large bypass road (including one of the largest motorway road tunnels in Europe) will only marginally influence total population exposure, this since the improved air quality in the city centre will be complemented by deteriorated air quality in suburban, residential areas.