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Elevated CO 2 and Ozone: Causes & Consequences Bill Holmes University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment Presentation Outline Part I: Rising atmospheric CO 2 & tropospheric ozone Sources & trends Part II: Impacts on plants & ecosystems

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Presentation Transcript
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Elevated CO2 and Ozone: Causes & Consequences

Bill Holmes

University of Michigan

School of Natural Resources& Environment


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Presentation Outline

  • Part I: Rising atmospheric CO2 & tropospheric ozone

    • Sources & trends

  • Part II: Impacts on plants & ecosystems

    • Research questions, approaches, and findings

  • Part III: Activities

    • Calculate your carbon footprint

    • View ozone maps, action day alerts






Distribution of emissions 1995 annual totals by region l.jpg
Distribution of Emissions1995 annual totals by region

Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center 2003


Atmospheric co 2 record l.jpg

370 ppmtoday

Atmospheric CO2 Record

299 ppmv, highest inlast 420,000 years



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Major Consequences I

  • Rising temperatures

    • Increase in U.S. of 5-9 ºF by 2100

  • Extreme weather

    • More frequent heavy precipitation events

    • Some regions get drier

  • Coastal and permafrost areas vulnerable

    • Sea level change

    • Storm surges

    • Sinking buildings and roads in Alaska


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Major Consequences II

  • Water quality impacts

    • Floods and droughts wreak havoc, especially in developing countries

  • Public health concerns

    • Floods, water borne diseases

    • Heat stress, air pollution

  • Agriculture & forestry impacts

    • CO2 promotes productivity, but…

    • More droughts, fire, and pest damage


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Major Consequences III

  • Ecosystem changes

    • Climate will change faster than ecosystems can migrate or adapt

    • Changes in plant competition

    • Grasslands invade forests in southeast U.S

    • Change in disturbance regimes – more fire!


Tropospheric ozone record l.jpg

80

80

60

60

40

40

20

20

0

0

1870

1870

1890

1890

1910

1910

1930

1930

1950

1950

1970

1970

1990

1990

Tropospheric Ozone Record

O3 Concentration (ppbv)

O3 Concentration (ppbv)

Redrawn from: Marenco et al. 1994.

J. Geophy. Res. 99: 16,617-16,632


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Good Ozone, Bad Ozone

Too little there... CFC’s and halons from air conditioners and refrigerators break down the protective ozone layer.

Too much here... Vehicles, power plants and factories emit air pollution that forms ground-level ozone.


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Sources of Ground-Level Ozone

NOx, VOC + sunlight

Ozone

Hot

sunny

days


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Global Distribution of Tropospheric Ozone



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Effects of "Bad" Ozone

  • Human Health

    • Coughing, throat irritation, lung damage

    • Worse when working or exercising outdoors

  • The Environment

    • Damages vegetation and ecosystems

    • Increases susceptibility of trees to other stresses (pests, diseases, weather extremes)

    • Forest and crop losses


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Part II: Impacts on Plants & Ecosystems

?

Climate Change

temperature

air pollution

carbon dioxide

ozone

Ecosystem Function

plant growth

nutrient cycling

carbon sequestration


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Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling in Terrestrial Ecosystems

Plant

Productivity

Plant Litter

Biochemistry

Soil Nitrogen

Availability

Substrate

Availability

Microbial

Community

Composition & Function


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Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling in Terrestrial Ecosystems

Atmospheric

CO2 & O3

Plant

Productivity

Plant Litter

Biochemistry

Soil Nitrogen

Availability

Substrate

Availability

Microbial

Community

Composition & Function

Atmospheric N Deposition


Carbon and nitrogen cycling in terrestrial ecosystems22 l.jpg
Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling in Terrestrial Ecosystems

Atmospheric

CO2 & O3

Plant

Productivity

Plant Litter

Biochemistry

Soil Nitrogen

Availability

Temperature & Precipitation

Substrate

Availability

Microbial

Community

Composition & Function

Atmospheric N Deposition


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Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) Experiments

Open-air control of atmosphere conditions

Fairly large scale

Longer term than previous chamber experiments

Major investment of research money

Large teams of researchers


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Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) Sites


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Eastern U.S. FACE Sites

Cedar Creek, MN

Rhinelander, WI

Oak Ridge, TN

Durham, NC


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Aspen FACE ExperimentRhinelander, WI


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Experimental Design

4 treatments x 3 blocks = 12 rings

AmbientControl

ElevatedCO2

ElevatedO3

ElevatedCO2 + O3

360

32

560

32

360

56

560

56

ppm CO2:

ppb O3:


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Aspen FACE Site

Aspen-Birch

Aspen

Aspen-Maple


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Why Study Aspen & Birch?

Global Geographic Distribution

(white & stippled areas)


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Research Questions

  • Will more or less CO2 be sequestered by forest trees or in soil as CO2 levels rise?

  • Will elevated CO2 alleviate other stresses (e.g. ozone, drought, low fertility)?

  • What are the interactive effects of CO2 and ozone?


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CO2 and Ozone Effects

CO2 effects:

+ photosynthesis

+ growth

+ water use efficiency

O3 effects:

–photosynthesis

– growth

+ leaf senescence


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Cell-level Ozone Damage

Normal aspen chloroplast

Large starch grains

Intact thylakoid membranes

Ozone damaged chloroplast

Disintegration of thylakoid membrane

Membrane degradation material

Small starch grains


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CO2 and O3 Effects on Tree Growth

8000

Foliage

Aspen

Aspen-Birch

Stems & Branches

b

b

Coarse Roots

Fine Roots

6000

a

a

Cumulative Net Primary Productivity

g m-2

a

Aspen-Maple

b

a

4000

c

ab

a

a

a

2000

0

CO2

CO2

CO2

Control

Control

Control

O3

O3

O3

CO2 + O3

CO2 + O3

CO2 + O3


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Research Findings I

  • Tree growth increases under elevated CO2 and decreases under O3

  • Carbon sequestration under elevated CO2 is overestimated in models which do not consider O3 impacts

  • O3 reduces the protective coating of leaves and damages leaf tissues

  • CO2 reduces the damaging effects of O3 and O3 reverses growth stimulation by CO2


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Research Findings II

  • Biogeochemical cycling of C and N increases under elevated CO2, but effects differ among FACE sites

  • O3 counteracts most CO2-induced enhancements in ecosystem processes (soil respiration, N availability…)

  • Plant response to CO2 may be limited by N availability or co-exposure to O3 or other factors.

  • Elevated CO2 delays normal autumn leaf senescence, predisposing some trees to winter dieback

  • Aspen and birch insects and diseases increase under elevated CO2 and O3


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Part III: Activities

  • What you and your students can do…

    • Find ways to reduce CO2 emissions

    • Learn about ozone action days

  • Get on the web!

    • Calculate your carbon footprint

    • View ozone maps and action day alerts


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Reduce CO2 Emissions

  • Reduce home heating & cooling energy use

  • Reduce transportation energy use

  • Increase energy efficiency

  • Learn about implementation of Kyoto protocol guidelines in other countries (Canada, UK)

  • Carbon offsets: reforestation and forest conservation programs


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Avoid and Reduce “Bad” Ozone

  • Check local air quality forecast

    • Limit physical exertion outdoors in afternoon and early evening

  • Ozone action days

    • Conserve energy

    • Avoid driving or filling up fuel tank

    • Avoid using lawn mower or other two-stroke powered equipment


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Ideas

  • Find and compare different carbon calculators

  • Build your own carbon calculator

  • Look up unit conversions

    Ex: CCF to therms for natural gas

  • Brainstorm ideas for CO2 offsets

  • Learn about Kyoto protocol


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