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Fresh air in the 21st century?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


  • M Prather
  • M Gauss
  • T Berntsen
  • I Isaksen
  • J Sundet
  • I Bey
  • G Brasseur
  • F Dentener
  • R Derwent
  • D Stevenson
  • L Grenfell
  • D Hauglustaine
  • L Horowitz
  • D Jacob
  • L Mickley
  • M Lawrence
  • R von Kuhlmann
  • J F Muller
  • G Pitari
  • H Rogers
  • M Johnson
  • J Pyle
  • K Law
  • M van Weele
Article number1100
Journal publication date31/01/2003
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Number of pages4
Original languageEnglish


Ozone is an air quality problem today for much of the world's population. Regions can exceed the ozone air quality standards (AQS) through a combination of local emissions, meteorology favoring pollution episodes, and the clean-air baseline levels of ozone upon which pollution builds. The IPCC 2001 assessment studied a range of global emission scenarios and found that all but one projects increases in global tropospheric ozone during the 21st century. By 2030, near-surface increases over much of the northern hemisphere are estimated to be about 5 ppb (+2 to +7 ppb over the range of scenarios). By 2100 the two more extreme scenarios project baseline ozone increases of >20 ppb, while the other four scenarios give changes of -4 to +10 ppb. Even modest increases in the background abundance of tropospheric ozone might defeat current AQS strategies. The larger increases, however, would gravely threaten both urban and rural air quality over most of the northern hemisphere.