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Volume 16, issue 15 | Copyright
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 9847-9862, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-9847-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 05 Aug 2016

Research article | 05 Aug 2016

The effect of future ambient air pollution on human premature mortality to 2100 using output from the ACCMIP model ensemble

Raquel A. Silva1, J. Jason West1, Jean-François Lamarque2, Drew T. Shindell3, William J. Collins4, Stig Dalsoren5, Greg Faluvegi6, Gerd Folberth7, Larry W. Horowitz8, Tatsuya Nagashima9, Vaishali Naik8, Steven T. Rumbold7,a, Kengo Sudo10, Toshihiko Takemura11, Daniel Bergmann12, Philip Cameron-Smith12, Irene Cionni13, Ruth M. Doherty14, Veronika Eyring15, Beatrice Josse16, Ian A. MacKenzie14, David Plummer17, Mattia Righi15, David S. Stevenson14, Sarah Strode18,19, Sophie Szopa20, and Guang Zengast21,b Raquel A. Silva et al.
  • 1Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  • 2NCAR Earth System Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 3Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  • 4Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, UK
  • 5CICERO, Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  • 6NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia Earth Institute, New York, New York, USA
  • 7Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK
  • 8NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
  • 9National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan
  • 10Earth and Environmental Science, Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
  • 11Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
  • 12Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California, USA
  • 13Agenzia Nazionale per le Nuove Tecnologie, l'Energia e lo Sviluppo Economico Sostenibile (ENEA), Bologna, Italy
  • 14School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  • 15Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 16GAME/CNRM, Meteo-France, CNRS – Centre National de Recherches Meteorologiques, Toulouse, France
  • 17Canadian Centre for Climate Modeling and Analysis, Environment Canada, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • 18NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
  • 19Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, Maryland, USA
  • 20Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, LSCE-CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 21National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Lauder, New Zealand
  • anow at: National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), University of Reading, Reading, UK
  • bnow at: NIWA, Wellington, New Zealand

Abstract. Ambient air pollution from ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is associated with premature mortality. Future concentrations of these air pollutants will be driven by natural and anthropogenic emissions and by climate change. Using anthropogenic and biomass burning emissions projected in the four Representative Concentration Pathway scenarios (RCPs), the ACCMIP ensemble of chemistry–climate models simulated future concentrations of ozone and PM2.5 at selected decades between 2000 and 2100. We use output from the ACCMIP ensemble, together with projections of future population and baseline mortality rates, to quantify the human premature mortality impacts of future ambient air pollution. Future air-pollution-related premature mortality in 2030, 2050 and 2100 is estimated for each scenario and for each model using a health impact function based on changes in concentrations of ozone and PM2.5 relative to 2000 and projected future population and baseline mortality rates. Additionally, the global mortality burden of ozone and PM2.5 in 2000 and each future period is estimated relative to 1850 concentrations, using present-day and future population and baseline mortality rates. The change in future ozone concentrations relative to 2000 is associated with excess global premature mortality in some scenarios/periods, particularly in RCP8.5 in 2100 (316 thousanddeathsyear−1), likely driven by the large increase in methane emissions and by the net effect of climate change projected in this scenario, but it leads to considerable avoided premature mortality for the three other RCPs. However, the global mortality burden of ozone markedly increases from 382000 (121000 to 728000)deathsyear−1 in 2000 to between 1.09 and 2.36 milliondeathsyear−1 in 2100, across RCPs, mostly due to the effect of increases in population and baseline mortality rates. PM2.5 concentrations decrease relative to 2000 in all scenarios, due to projected reductions in emissions, and are associated with avoided premature mortality, particularly in 2100: between −2.39 and −1.31 milliondeathsyear−1 for the four RCPs. The global mortality burden of PM2.5 is estimated to decrease from 1.70 (1.30 to 2.10) milliondeathsyear−1 in 2000 to between 0.95 and 1.55 milliondeathsyear−1 in 2100 for the four RCPs due to the combined effect of decreases in PM2.5 concentrations and changes in population and baseline mortality rates. Trends in future air-pollution-related mortality vary regionally across scenarios, reflecting assumptions for economic growth and air pollution control specific to each RCP and region. Mortality estimates differ among chemistry–climate models due to differences in simulated pollutant concentrations, which is the greatest contributor to overall mortality uncertainty for most cases assessed here, supporting the use of model ensembles to characterize uncertainty. Increases in exposed population and baseline mortality rates of respiratory diseases magnify the impact on premature mortality of changes in future air pollutant concentrations and explain why the future global mortality burden of air pollution can exceed the current burden, even where air pollutant concentrations decrease.

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Short summary
Using ozone and PM2.5 concentrations from the ACCMIP ensemble of chemistry-climate models for the four Representative Concentration Pathway scenarios (RCPs), together with projections of future population and baseline mortality rates, we quantify the human premature mortality impacts of future ambient air pollution in 2030, 2050 and 2100, relative to 2000 concentrations. We also estimate the global mortality burden of ozone and PM2.5 in 2000 and each future period.
Using ozone and PM2.5 concentrations from the ACCMIP ensemble of chemistry-climate models for...
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