Tropospheric ozone impacts the health and productivity of forest ecosystems. The concentration of ozone on Earth will increase in the future, particularly in China and its neighboring countries, including Korea, due to a projected rise in nitrogen dioxide and ozone precursors as a result of China's emissions. This study aims to estimate the effect of changes in ozone concentration and climate change on the forests in Korea, based on expected nitrogen dioxide emissions in Korea and China in the future. To do this, we developed an empirical model that represents the statistical relationship between the net primary productivity (NPP) of the forests and ozone concentration using historical data; and, estimated the future NPP of the forests under future ozone concentration scenarios based on nitrogen dioxide emissions of the Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) scenarios. The analysis suggests that the ozone concentration begin exerting effects to the NPP, about 68.10 tC/km2/year decrement per 0.01 ppm increment. We estimated that the NPP of Korean forests has been reduced by 8.25% due to the current concentration of ozone, and the damage is estimated to increase to a range between 8.47% and 10.55% in the 2050s, and between 5.85% and 11.15% in the 2090s depending on the scenarios.
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