Tong to receive NOAA funding for project modeling air quality, carbon and climate

Daniel Tong, Associate Professor, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, College of Science (COS), is set to receive funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for a project that will generate models of air quality, carbon, and climate at a city scale for co-benefit mitigation.

The three-year project will bring together a group of experts from Mason and Northeastern University, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), NOAA, the nonprofit Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), and Boston’s Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics. The parties will develop an innovative integrated model system based on the online-coupled meteorology-air quality model (WRF/Chem) to simultaneously simulate the evolution of criteria air pollutants (CAPs) and greenhouse gases (GHGs). The system will also account for the chemistry-climate feedback in a changing climate in one simulation that is currently not possible.

The researchers expect to develop: an integrated model system for simultaneous predictions of the evolution of CAPs and GHGs, methodologies to downscale the National Emissions Inventory (NEI) emission inventories to high-resolution (1-km) and state-level GLIMPSE/GCAM-USA emission projections to the regional/city level. GLIMPSE is a decision support modeling tool being developed by EPA that will assist states with energy and environmental planning through the year 2050.

They also expect to produce high-resolution/fidelity CAPs and GHG emissions for 2012-2017 and 2047-2052, predictions of evolution of CAPs/GHGs under plausible future energy scenarios in a changing climate and relative impacts of reduced emissions (GHGs vs. CAPs) vs. changing climate/land use and recommendations of the optimal future energy scenarios with maximum co-benefit for air quality control, climate change/land use mitigation, and health improvement.

This work will benefit research communities and other federal, regional, state, and local stakeholders for research priorities and policy-making, and the general public concerning environment and human health.

The improved WRF/Chem model will be first reviewed and then included for future public release by NOAA. The new energy transition scenarios will be incorporated into the EPA’s GLIMPSE/GCAM-USA.

Tong will receive $83,748 from NOAA for this project. Funding will begin in September 2020 and will end in late August 2023.

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Elizabeth Grisham
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