Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What are the Impacts of Short-lived Air Pollutants on Climate Change and on Health?

Evaluating the climate and air quality impacts of short-lived pollutants (38 page pdf, A. Stohl, B. Aamaas, M. Amann, L. H. Baker, N. Bellouin, T. K. Berntsen, O. Boucher, R. Cherian, W. Collins, N. Daskalakis, M. Dusinska, S. Eckhardt, J. S. Fuglestvedt, M. Harju, C. Heyes, Ø. Hodnebrog, J. Hao, U. Im, M. Kanakidou, Z. Klimont, K. Kupiainen, K. S. Law, M. T. Lund, R. Maas, C. R. MacIntosh, G. Myhre, S. Myriokefalitakis, D. Olivié, J. Quaas, B. Quennehen, J.-C. Raut, S. T. Rumbold, B. H. Samset, M. Schulz, Ø. Seland, K. P. Shine, R. B. Skeie, S. Wang, K. E. Yttri, and T. Zhu, Atmos. Chem. Phys., Sep. 24, 2015)

Also discussed here: Curbing short-lived pollutants a win-win for climate and air quality (News, The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Sep. 24, 2015)

 Today we review research into the benefits of reducing air pollution in terms of reduced climate warming and on health. The lifetimes of air pollutants such as methane, SO2, NOx and black carbon are measured in months compared CO2 which lasts decades but their radiative impact on climate warming is much greater individually (as opposed to overall), given that their much lower concentration in the atmosphere than CO2. The impact on health of course is much greater with 223,000 deaths from lung cancer each year and shorter lifetimes of 7.5 years globally from air pollution. Short term reductions in air pollution (by 2050) were shown by climate models to reduce warming by 0.22C, while extending lifetimes by up to 11 months (in India). short lived aq  

Key Quotes:

“In the EU, the reduction in life expectancy due to air pollution was 7.5 months in 2010, and legislation already in place to improve air quality aims to reduce this loss to 5.2 months by 2030.”

“the new measures targeting short-lived pollutants could boost air quality and reduce loss of life expectancy even further: by a month in Europe, about two months in China and one year in India. The new mitigation measures would also bring climate benefits, reducing global temperatures by about 0.22°C by 2050, relative to a scenario without these measures”

“There are also other important measures to reduce methane emissions from coal mining, municipal waste treatment and gas distribution, for example, as well as black carbon emission reductions through elimination of high-emitting vehicles, use of cleaner biomass cooking and heating stoves, replacement of kerosene wick lamps with LED lamps and other measures,”

“the mitigation has only minor effects on CO2 emissions, but reduces most SLCPs strongly compared to the CLE scenario. By 2030, CH4 emissions are reduced by about 50% and BC emissions by nearly 80 %. OA is co-controlled with BC, causing a nearly 70% ..reduction of its emissions,”

 “In China, the ECLIPSE measures would in the year 2030 extend the life expectancy of the population by approximately 1.8 months and reduce the premature deaths attributable to PM2:5 by 150 000–200 000 cases per year….Using the loss in statistical life expectancy as an alternative metric, the ECLIPSE measures would gain 11–12 months in life expectancy for the Indian population”

“For the first time, ECLIPSE compared the temperature response to an SLCP mitigation scenario as it is given by climate metrics (using the ARTP method) and as it is simulated with transient ESM simulations…Both approaches give a global mean reduced warming of the surface temperatures by 0.22K (and similar uncertainty ranges) for the period 2041–2050.”

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