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The Effect of Future Ambient Air Pollution on Human Premature Mortality to 2100 Using Output from the ACCMIP Model EnsembleAmbient air pollution from ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter (PM(sub 2.5)) 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 PM(sub 2.5) 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 PM(sub 2.5) relative to 2000 and projected future population and baseline mortality rates. Additionally, the global mortality burden of ozone and PM(sub 2.5) 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 thousand deaths per year), 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) deaths per year in 2000 to between 1.09 and 2.36 million deaths per year in 2100, across RCPs, mostly due to the effect of increases in population and baseline mortality rates. PM(sub 2.5) 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 million deaths per year for the four RCPs. The global mortality burden of PM(sub 2.5) is estimated to decrease from 1.70 (1.30 to 2.10) million deaths per year in 2000 to between 0.95 and 1.55 million deaths per year in 2100 for the four RCPs due to the combined effect of decreases in PM(sub 2.5) 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.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Silva, Raquel A.
(North Carolina Univ. Chapel Hill, NC, United States)
West, J. Jason
(North Carolina Univ. Chapel Hill, NC, United States)
Lamarque, Jean-Francois
(National Center for Atmospheric Research Boulder, CO, United States)
Shindell, Drew T.
(Duke Univ. Durham, NC, United States)
Collins, William J.
(Reading Univ. United Kingdom)
Dalsoren, Stig
(Center for International Climate and Environmental Research Oslo, Norway)
Faluvegi, Greg
(Columbia Univ. New York, NY, United States)
Folberth, Gerd
(MET Office (Meteorological Office) Exeter, United Kingdom)
Horowitz, Larry W.
(Princeton Univ. NJ, United States)
Nagashima, Tatsuya
(National Inst. of Environmental Studies Tsukuba, Japan)
Strode, Sarah
(Universities Space Research Association Boulder, CO, United States)
Date Acquired
September 9, 2016
Publication Date
August 5, 2016
Publication Information
Publication: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Volume: 16
Issue: 15
Subject Category
Environment Pollution
Meteorology And Climatology
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
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