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Scientific support for national and international policy - AQ0902

This research is a continuation of work that originated during development of protocols under the Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) of the UN Economic Commission for Europe to combat problems of acidification, eutrophication (ecosystem change due to excess nitrogen deposition), and elevated concentrations of ground level ozone. This work uses and brings together work by other DEFRA contractors on emissions, atmospheric transport, ecosystem protection and urban air quality. These are brought together with information on potential abatement measures and their costs to explore cost-effectivestrategies in "integrated assessment modelling

Many of the important pollutants for UK and European air quality have sufficiently long lifetimes that their local impacts are partly determined by global-scale transport from other continents. The CAFÉ process within Europe has been limited to considering the effect of European precursor emission on ozone production only within Europe. A much more international approach, taking account of the benefits of European abatement policies for the global background of ozone, and the benefits for Europe of precursor abatement in other continents is necessary. During the years covered by this contract, the Gothenburg protocol and the National Emissions Ceilings Directive of the EC are to be reviewed, with extra legislation envisaged to control fine particulate matter.

Our objectives include scrutinising the work of IIASA and the development and application of the RAINS/GAINS model in work for the EC and the UN ECE, and to undertake supporting research to examine the assumptions made and scenarios put forward towards revised legislation. We shall also investigate UK scenarios to be agreed with DEFRA, using UKIAM and incorporating data from other DEFRA contractors. These will include alternative energy, transport and agricultural scenarios which are important in exploring links betwen air pollution control and greenhouse gas emissions.

The DEFRA Air Quality Expert Group AQEG has undertaken an in-depth study of the links between air quality and climate change. The report has not yet been published; however, recommendations for further areas of research are likely to include the effect of NOx emissions on climate, the impact of climate change on ground level pollutant changes, and the impact of changing global emissions on European policy.
This work will therefore address global-scale implications of emission and climate scenarios, and consider their effects on the regional scale. The Met Office has had a long involvement with the modelling of the long-range transport of ozone, and sulphur and nitrogen species in Europe. It has developed a sophisticated global Lagrangian chemistry model (STOCHEM) to study the important coupling between global and regional-scale ozone formation and transport. Previous work has shown how growing global-scale emissions of methane, carbon monoxide and NOx will affect European ozone concentrations.
The aim of this integrated research programme is to provide scientific support for Defra in development of national and international policy in relation to air quality and transboundary air pollution. Specifically this includes the work of the UN ECE, for example the current review of the Gothenburg protocol; and evolving legislation from the Clean Air For Europe (CAFÉ programme) of the EC and impending review of the National Emissions Ceilings Directive. The work will involve close scrutiny of the technical input to these developments; ascertaining and analyzing the implications for the UK, and investigating the assumptions and uncertainties; and assembling evidence that can be used by Defra in deciding its own policy and to influence the international fora.

In order to achieve this objective our aim has been to bring together a wide range of expertise in this consortium spanning pollutant emissions and emission projections, atmospheric modelling on scales from local and urban to global, criteria for environmental protection and human health, and on potential measures to reduce emissions and associated costs. The research will build on previous contracts that have developed “integrated assessment modelling” , bringing this disparate information together to investigate cost effective strategies for pollution control that maximize improvements in environmental protection; closely paralleling the approach used by the EC and UNECE based on the work of IIASA and EMEP. We shall also take a broad perspective, recognising links with other environmental problems such as control of greenhouse gases.

The research is divided into 3 work packages:-

Work package 1
The objective of work package 1 is investigation of pollutant emission scenarios and potential abatement strategies at the UK, regional and urban scales. This includes consideration of energy scenarios, transport scenarios and urban air quality, and agriculture in the UK; also shipping emissions in the seas surrounding the UK which are of increasing importance. There are many sub-tasks in this work-package aimed at assembling the required information, adapting and extending capabilities of the UKIAM model (for example to broader treatment of the nitrogen cycle as well as addressing synergies between control of air quality pollutants and greenhouse gases): and to exploring uncertainties and the robustness of conclusions.

Work package 2
Work package 2 is concentrated on the European scale. The aims are first to undertake complementary modelling to that undertaken by IIASA and EMEP to address aspects not considered and investigate the effect of various assumptions; secondly a series of supporting tasks to improve atmospheric modelling, undertake model intercomparisons, and establish source apportionment. Thirdly we aim to scrutinize in detail work for the EC and UN ECE with the GAINS model and resulting proposals for national emission ceilings, and to contribute to task forces and working groups including chairmanship of the Task Force on Measurements and Modelling.

Work Package 3
The objectives of this work package are to assess the contributions to UK and European air quality from global-scale transport of pollution from other continents. This work package will address global-scale implications of emission and climate scenarios, and then consider their effects on the regional scale. This will include quantifying the impacts of changing global transport patterns, principally shipping and road transport, and the impact of climate change on natural global emissions. In each case the objective is to assess the impact on UK and European air quality.

As well as air quality and human health impacts, the objective of this work package is also to quantify the impacts of pollution deposition on ecosystems. Principle pollutants that will be considered are ozone, nitrogen (oxidised and reduce) and sulphate.

The emission pulse technique developed previously will be further used under task 3.2 to create source-receptor relationships for ozone and particulate matter (PM). These relationships would then be included in the integrated assessment modelling under work package 1 of this tender.
Under work package 3.3 the formation and transport of these species, and their role in the eutrophication and acidification of ecosystems will be investigated.

Deliverables (explained in more detail in section 7c: approaches and research plan

Work package 1
1.1.1 UKIAM/ASAM maintained as an operational and effective integrated assessment modelling capability to support Defra policy both in the UK and in the international arena.

1.1.2 Data on emissions and emission projections for use in UKIAM

1.1.3 An enhanced capability for assessing urban air quality and strategies for attaining air quality objectives. A paper on the BRUTAL transport model and applications.

1.1.4 Extension of UKIAM to model PM2.5 for scenario analysis in 1.4.

1.1.5 Progress in including greenhouse gas emissions in UKIAM, to be indicated in progress reports.

1.1.6 A joint report by CEH and Imperial College on addressing interactions between control of ammonia and other environmental aspects of the nitrogen cycle

1.1.7 An extension of the capability of UKIAM to consider side effects of reducing NOx on urban ozone. This will be described in a report.

1.1.8. Incorporation of shipping emissions and their abatement into the UKIAM

1.2.1. Exploration of target setting for ecosystem protection building on the critical load approach (summarised in a report)

1.2.2. Exploration of targets set in relation to health and urban air quality: scenario analysis

1.3 Update and transfer of existing cost-curve information developed by Entec into a database format. This will also include extensions to cover more detailed measures for shipping, as well as a number of non-technical and GHG abatement measures.

1.4.1 Analysis of scenarios ( in schedule agreed with Defra) summarised in progress reports, indicating references to more extensive reports on particular studies and groups of scenarios, and the policy relevance.

1.4.2 Summary note of Entec’s scoping activity in relation to the development of alternative emissions scenarios.

1.5 Consideration of uncertainties and robustness of results, included in major reports from the project

1.6 Summary note of Entec’s initial scoping activity related to the review of the IPPC Directive.

1.7 Supporting activities and external interaction via APRIL (Air Pollution Research in London)

Work package 2: Engagement with EC and UN ECE fora

2.1.1 Participation in European and International scale assessment modelling; collaboration with IIASA, input to TFIAM, knowledge transfer to Defra and AQEG .

2.1.2 Progress reports and a peer-reviewed publication on the links between regional emission controls and European ozone impacts.

2.1.3 Initial steps towards global scale integrated assessment modelling

2.2.1 Modellers forum and model intercomparisons

2.2.2 Improved data from the FRAME model on contributions from European sources outside the UK, for use in UKIAM

2.2.3 Results on the urban fine-scale assessment of PM will be contributed to the TFMM/TFIAM Workshop and to the 8th TFMM meeting. A suitable peer-reviewed publication will be written. A final report on this activity will be presented to Defra at the end of the 2007/2008 year.

2.2.4 Input data to UKIAM enabling the quantification of contributions from emission sources outside the UK

2.2.5 Development and validation of NAME’s ability to model particulate matter. A series of reports will be produced: a report to document modelling progress with nitrate and sulphate aerosol; a report of modelled ammonia validation and sensitivity of aerosol production to changes in ammonia emissions; a report to show the comparison of modelled secondary organic aerosols with measurement data; a report/peer reviewed paper on attribution and modelling of the major constituents of PM10 using NAME; a report on the validation of the NAME model against EMEP super-site measurements.

2.2.6. A joint model intercomparison report written with CEH.

2.2.7 A report describing modelled concentrations for all species from a 1 year run of the NAME model validated against published data from other Defra models (for example OSRM, FRAME, John Steadman’s National Model) and available measurement data.

2.2.8 A report providing an annual emission map for ammonia over the UK.

2.2.9 A report assessing the effect of climate change on NAME modelled air quality

2.3.1 Participation in international expert group review of IIASA RAINS/GAINS model plus updates to Defra on further development.

2.3.2 Presentations and input to TFIAM

2.3.3 Briefing notes on RAINS/GAINS modelling to Defra

2.3.4 Report by Entec scrutinising national data currently held by RAINS/GAINS (focusing on abatement costs/potentials/uptake) and critical assessment of strategies put forward by the EU and UNECE based on this data.

2.4 Report for TFIAM/TFMM Workshop. Report for PM Assessment Workshop in Paris. Work plan for TFMM for 2007. Report to TFMM on urban fine-scale modelling. First draft PM Assessment Report. Report on TFMM activities to EMEP Steering Body 2007. Final draft PM Assessment Report.

Work package 3: Global modelling
3.1 A report comparing results from STOCHEM at higher resolution, with previous results at lower resolution. A report on the validation of the STOCHEM secondary particulate simulations
3.2.1 A report on the effect of the redistribution of emissions on pollutant levels over Europe.
A report on the effect of increasing emissions from developing countries on background ozone levels, and the subsequent impact on EU and UN/ECE policies.

3.2.2 A peer-reviewed publication on the role of emissions from biomass burning on wintertime ozone levels over the UK.

3.2.3 A report on the likely frequency and magnitude of US particulate emissions being detected in the UK, and possible impacts on European air quality.

3.3 A report on the role of ammonia in the formation of secondary PM, and the potential importance of ammonium nitrate aerosols in the present day and future.

3.4 A report on the potential damage to vegetation by ozone, including estimates of loss of yield. A report on the health implications of IIASA scenarios.

3.5 A report showing a comparison of modelled and observed fluxes of natural hydrocarbons, and NOx from soils. A report on the impact of climate change on these emissions and the subsequent effects on background levels of ozone and PM.

3.6 A report on the impact of current and future shipping emissions on European air quality, and acidification and eutrophication of soils.
A report on the impact on European air quality of the use of hydrogen-powered vehicles.

3.7 Annual reporting on EMEP modelling to Defra immediately before reporting to the EMEP Steering Body. Report on JRC work programme

3.8 Annual reports to Defra on mercury modelling and a peer-reviewed publication at the end of the project.

3.9.1 Results from HTAP experiments submitted for analysis. Report on effects of emissions changes in STOCHEM.

3.9.2 Contributions to the interim and final reports as requested by TF HTAP.
Annual reports to Defra on this activity and immediately before the meetings of the EMEP Steering Body.

3.10 Support for the HTAP conference

3.11 Report on the effect of 2030s climate change on European air quality.
Report on the indirect forcing of NOX and NH3 emissions.
Report on the 100 year STOCHEM run.

4. Response to Defra with model data in required timescale.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2007

To: 2012

Cost: £2,161,154
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Meteorological Office, United Kingdom
Air Pollution              
Environmental Protection              
Fields of Study
Air Quality