Air Pollution

2022
Sharma, Disha, and Denise Mauzerall+. “Analysis of Air Pollution Data in India between 2015 and 2019.” Aerosol and Air Quality Research 22, no. 2 (2022).Abstract
India suffers from among the worst air pollution in the world. In response, a large government effort to increase air quality monitoring is underway. We present the first comprehensive analysis of government air quality observations from 2015–2019 for PM10,, PM2.5, SO2, NO2 and O3 from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring (CAAQM) network and the manual National Air Quality Monitoring Program (NAMP), as well as PM2.5 from the US Air-Now network. We address inconsistencies and data gaps in datasets using a rigorous procedure to ensure data representativeness. We find particulate pollution dominates the pollution mix across India with virtually all sites in northern India (divided at 23.5°N) exceeding the annual average PM10 and PM2.5 residential national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) by 150% and 100% respectively, and in southern India exceeding the PM10 standard by 50% and the PM2.5 standard by 40%. Annual average SO2, NO2 and MDA8 O3 generally meet the residential NAAQS across India. Northern India has (~10%–130%) higher concentrations of all pollutants than southern India, with only SO2 having similar concentrations. Although inter-annual variability exists, we found no significant trend of these pollutants over the five-year period. In the five cities with Air-Now PM2.5 measurements - Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai, there is reasonable agreement with CPCB data. The PM2.5 CPCB CAAQM data compares well with satellite derived annual surface PM2.5 concentrations (Hammer et al., 2020), with the exception of the western desert region prior to 2018 when surface measurements exceeded satellite retrievals. Our reanalyzed dataset is useful for evaluation of Indian air quality from satellite data, atmospheric models, and low-cost sensors. Our dataset also provides a baseline to evaluate the future success of National Clean Air Programme as well as aids in assessment of existing and future air pollution mitigation policies.
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2021
Mauzerall, Denise L.+. “A conversation on the impacts and mitigation of air pollution.” Nature Communications (2021). Full Article PDF
Zhou, Mi, Hongxun Liu, Liqun Peng, Yue Qin, Dan Chen, Lin Zhang, and Denise L. Mauzerall+. “Environmental benefits and household costs of clean heating options in northern China.” Nature Sustainability (2021).Abstract
The Chinese government accelerated the clean residential heating transition in northern China as part of a successful effort to improve regional air quality. Meanwhile, China has committed to carbon neutrality by 2060, making strategic choices for long-term decarbonization of the residential sector necessary. However, the synergies and trade-offs for health and carbon of alternative heating options and associated costs have not been systematically considered. Here we investigate air-quality–health–carbon interdependencies as well as household costs of using electricity (heat pumps or resistance heaters), gas or clean coal for residential heating for individual provinces across northern China. We find substantial air-quality and health benefits, varied carbon emissions and increased heating costs across clean heating options. With the 2015 power mix, gas heaters offer the largest health–carbon co-benefits, while resistance heaters lead to health–carbon trade-offs. As the power grid decarbonizes, by 2030 heat pumps achieve the largest health–carbon synergies of the options we analysed. Despite high capital costs, heat pumps generally have the lowest operating costs and thus are competitive for long-term use. With increased subsidies on the purchase of heat pumps, the government can facilitate further air-quality improvements and carbon mitigation in the clean heating transition.
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Peng^, Liqun, Feiqi Liu^, Mi Zhou^, Mingwei Li#, Qiang Zhang, and Denise L. Mauzerall+. “Alternative-energy-vehicles deployment delivers climate, air quality, and health co-benefits when coupled with decarbonizing power generation in China.” One Earth 4 (2021).Abstract
We estimate the co-benefits of AEV utilization for air quality, health, and climate, and evaluate the economic benefits of AEV penetration with various levels of decarbonized electricity in China. We find that air quality and GHG mitigation co-benefits through alternative energy vehicle deployment increases as the power sector decarbonized. Co­benefits are maximized via high penetration of AEV deployment powered with ambitious and rapid power sector decarbonization.
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2019
Qin, Yue, Yuanyuan Fang, Xiaoyuan Li, Vaishali Naik, Larry W. Horowitz, Junfeng Liu, Noah Scovronick, and Denise L. Mauzerall+. “Source attribution of black carbon affecting regional air quality, premature mortality and glacial deposition in 2000.”  Atmospheric Environment 206 (2019): 144-155.Abstract
Black carbon (BC) mitigation can reduce adverse environmental impacts on climate, air quality, human health, and water resource availability. To facilitate the identification of mitigation priorities, we use a state-of-thescience global chemistry-climate coupled model (AM3), with additional tagged BC tracers representing regional (East Asia, South Asia, Europe and North America) and sectoral (land transport, residential, industry) anthropogenic BC emissions to identify sources with the largest impacts on air quality, human health and glacial deposition. We find that within each tagged region, domestic emissions dominate BC surface concentrations and associated premature mortality (generally over 90%), as well as BC deposition on glaciers (∼40–95% across glaciers). BC emissions occurring within each tagged source region contribute roughly 1–2 orders of magnitude more to their domestic BC concentrations, premature mortality, and BC deposition on regional glaciers than that caused by the same quantity of BC emitted from foreign regions. At the sectoral level, the South Asian residential sector contributes ∼60% of BC associated premature mortality in South Asia and ∼40–60% of total BC deposited on southern Tibetan glaciers. Our findings imply that BC mitigation within a source region, particularly from East and South Asian residential sectors, will bring the largest reductions in BC associated air pollution, premature mortality, and glacial deposition.
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2018
Yang^, Junnan, Xiaoyuan Li^, Wei Peng^, Fabian Wagner, and Denise L. Mauzerall+. “Climate, air quality and human health benefits of various solar photovoltaic deployment scenarios in China in 2030.” Environmental Research Letters 13, no. 6 (2018).Abstract
Solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation can greatly reduce both air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuel electricity generation. The Chinese government plans to greatly scale up solar PV installation between now and 2030. However, different PV development pathways will influence the range of air quality and climate benefits. Benefits depend on how much electricity generated from PV is integrated into power grids and the type of power plant displaced. Using a coal-intensive power sector projection as the base case, we estimate the climate, air quality, and related human health benefits of various 2030 PV deployment scenarios. We use the 2030 government goal of 400 GW installed capacity but vary the location of PV installation and the extent of inter-provincial PV electricity transmission. We find that deploying distributed PV in the east with inter-provincial transmission maximizes potential CO2 reductions and air quality-related health benefits (4.2% and 1.2% decrease in national total CO2 emissions and air pollution-related premature deaths compared to the base case, respectively). Deployment in the east with inter-provincial transmission results in the largest benefits because it maximizes displacement of the dirtiest coal-fired power plants and minimizes PV curtailment, which is more likely to occur without inter-provincial transmission. We further find that the maximum co-benefits achieved with deploying PV in the east and enabling inter-provincial transmission are robust under various maximum PV penetration levels in both provincial and regional grids. We find large potential benefits of policies that encourage distributed PV deployment and facilitate inter-provincial PV electricity transmission in China.
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Peng^, Wei, Junnan Yang^, Xi Lu, and Denise L. Mauzerall+. “Potential co-benefits of electrification for air quality, health, and CO2 mitigation in 2030 China.” Applied Energy (2018).Abstract
Electrification with decarbonized electricity is a central strategy for carbon mitigation. End-use electrification can also reduce air pollutant emissions from the demand sectors, which brings public health co-benefits. Here we focus on electrification strategies for China, a country committed to both reducing air pollution and peaking carbon emissions before 2030. Considering both coal-intensive and decarbonized power system scenarios for 2030, we assess the air quality, health and climate co-benefits of various end-use electrification scenarios for the vehicle and residential sectors relative to a non-electrified coal-intensive business-as-usual scenario (BAU). Based on an integrated assessment using the regional air pollution model WRF-Chem and epidemiological concentration–response relationships, we find that coal-intensive electrification (75% coal) does not reduce carbon emissions, but can bring significant air quality and health benefits (41,000–57,000 avoided deaths in China annually). In comparison, switching to a half decarbonized power supply (∼50% coal) for electrification of the transport and/or residential sectors leads to a 14–16% reduction in carbon emissions compared to BAU, as well as greater air quality and health co-benefits (55,000–69,000 avoided deaths in China annually) than coal intensive electrification. Furthermore, depending on which end-use sector is electrified, we find different regional distributions of air quality and health benefits. While electrifying the transport sector improves air quality throughout eastern China, electrifying the residential sector brings most benefits to the North China Plain region in winter where coal-based heating contributes substantially to air pollution.
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Qin, Yue, Lena Höglund-Isaksson, Edward Byers, Kuishuang Feng, Fabian Wagner, Wei Peng, and Denise L. Mauzerall+. “Air quality-carbon-water synergies and trade-offs in China's natural gas industry.” Nature Sustainability 1 (2018): 505-511.Abstract
Both energy production and consumption can simultaneously affect regional air quality, local water stress and the global climate. Identifying the air quality–carbon–water interactions due to both energy sources and end-uses is important for capturing potential co-benefits while avoiding unintended consequences when designing sustainable energy transition pathways. Here, we examine the air quality–carbon–water interdependencies of China’s six major natural gas sources and three end-use gasfor-coal substitution strategies in 2020. We find that replacing coal with gas sources other than coal-based synthetic natural gas (SNG) generally offers national air quality–carbon–water co-benefits. However, SNG achieves air quality benefits while increasing carbon emissions and water demand, particularly in regions that already suffer from high per capita carbon emissions and severe water scarcity. Depending on end-uses, non-SNG gas-for-coal substitution results in enormous variations in air quality, carbon and water improvements, with notable air quality–carbon synergies but air quality–water trade-offs. This indicates that more attention is needed to determine in which end-uses natural gas should be deployed to achieve the desired environmental improvements. Assessing air quality–carbon–water impacts across local, regional and global administrative levels is crucial for designing and balancing the co-benefits of sustainable energy development and deployment policies at all scales.
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Peng, Wei, Fabian Wagner, M. V. Ramana, Haibo Zhai, Mitchell J. Small, Carole Dalin, Xin Zhang, and Denise L. Mauzerall+. “Managing China's coal power plants to address multiple environmental objectives.” Nature Sustainability 1 (2018): 693-701.Abstract
China needs to manage its coal-dominated power system to curb carbon emissions, as well as to address local environmental priorities such as air pollution and water stress. Here we examine three province-level scenarios for 2030 that represent various electricity demand and low-carbon infrastructure development pathways. For each scenario, we optimize coal power generation strategies to minimize the sum of national total coal power generation cost, inter-regional transmission cost and air pollution and water costs. We consider existing environmental regulations on coal power plants, as well as varying prices for air pollutant emissions and water to monetize the environmental costs. Comparing 2030 to 2015, we find lower CO2 emissions only in the scenarios with substantial renewable generation or low projected electricity demand. Meanwhile, in all three 2030 scenarios, we observe lower air pollution and water impacts than were recorded in 2015 when current regulations and prices for air pollutant emissions and water are imposed on coal power plants. Increasing the price of air pollutant emissions or water alone can lead to a tradeoff between these two objectives, mainly driven by differences between air pollution-oriented and water-oriented transmission system designs that influence where coal power plants will be built and retired.
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2017
Li, Zhongshu, Junfeng Liu, Denise L. Mauzerall, Xiaoyuan Li, Songmiao Fan, Larry W. Horowitz, Cenlin He, Kan Yi, and Shu Tao. “A potential large and persistent black carbon forcing over Northern Pacific inferred from satellite observations.” Scientific Reports 7, no. 43429 (2017).Abstract
Black carbon (BC) aerosol strongly absorbs solar radiation, which warms climate. However, accurate estimation of BC’s climate effect is limited by the uncertainties of its spatiotemporal distribution, especially over remote oceanic areas. The HIAPER Pole-to-Pole Observation (HIPPO) program from 2009 to 2011 intercepted multiple snapshots of BC profiles over Pacific in various seasons, and revealed a 2 to 5 times overestimate of BC by current global models. In this study, we compared the measurements from aircraft campaigns and satellites, and found a robust association between BC concentrations and satellite-retrieved CO, tropospheric NO2, and aerosol optical depth (AOD) (R2>0.8). This establishes a basis to construct a satellite-based column BC approximation (sBC*) over remote oceans. The inferred sBC* shows that Asian outflows in spring bring much more BC aerosols to the midPacific than those occurring in other seasons. In addition, inter-annual variability of sBC* is seen over the Northern Pacific, with abundances varying consistently with the springtime Pacific/North American (PNA) index. Our sBC* dataset infers a widespread overestimation of BC loadings and BC Direct Radiative Forcing by current models over North Pacific, which further suggests that large uncertainties exist on aerosol-climate interactions over other remote oceanic areas beyond Pacific.
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Peng, Wei, Junnan Yang, Fabian Wagner, and Denise L. Mauzerall+. “Substantial air quality and climate co-benefits achievable now with sectoral mitigation strategies in China.” Science of the Total Environment 598 (2017): 1076-1084.Abstract
China is the world's top carbon emitter and suffers from severe air pollution. We examine near-term air quality and CO2 co-benefits of various current sector-based policies in China. Using a 2015 base case, we evaluate the potential benefits of four sectoral mitigation strategies. All scenarios include a 20% increase in conventional air pollution controls as well as the following sector-specific fuel switching or technology upgrade strategies. Power sector (POW): 80% replacement of small coal power plants with larger more efficient ones; Industry sector (IND): 10% improvement in energy efficiency; Transport sector (TRA): replacement of high emitters with average vehicle fleet emissions; and Residential sector (RES): replacement of 20% of coal-based stoves with stoves using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Conducting an integrated assessment using the regional air pollution model WRFChem, we find that the IND scenario reduces national air-pollution-related deaths the most of the four scenarios examined (27,000, 24,000, 13,000 and 23,000 deaths reduced annually in IND, POW, TRA and RES, respectively). In addition, the IND scenario reduces CO2 emissions more than 8 times as much as any other scenario (440, 53, 0 and 52 Mt CO2 reduced in IND, POW, TRA and RES, respectively). We also examine the benefits of an industrial efficiency improvement of just 5%. We find the resulting air quality and health benefits are still among the largest of the sectoral scenarios, while the carbon mitigation benefits remain more than 3 times larger than any other scenario. Our analysis hence highlights the importance of even modest industrial energy efficiency improvements and air pollution control technology upgrades for air quality, health and climate benefits in China.
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Peng, Wei, Jiahai Yuan, Yu Zhao, Meiyun Lin, Qiang Zhang, David G Victor, and Denise L Mauzerall+. “Air quality and climate benefits of long-distance electricity transmission in China.” Environmental Research Letters 12, no. 6 (2017).Abstract
China is the world’s top carbon emitter and suffers from severe air pollution. It has recently made commitments to improve air quality and to peak its CO2 emissions by 2030. We examine one strategy that can potentially address both issues—utilizing long-distance electricity transmission to bring renewable power to the polluted eastern provinces. Based on an integrated assessment using state-of-the-science atmospheric modeling and recent epidemiological evidence, we find that transmitting a hybrid of renewable (60%) and coal power (40%) (Hybrid-by-wire) reduces 16% more national air-pollution-associated deaths and decreases three times more carbon emissions than transmitting only coal-based electricity. Moreover, although we find that transmitting coal power (Coal-by-Wire, CbW) is slightly more effective at reducing air pollution impacts than replacing old coal power plants with newer cleaner ones in the east (Coal-by-Rail, CbR) (CbW achieves a 6% greater reduction in national total air-pollution-related mortalities than CbR), both coal scenarios have approximately the same carbon emissions. We thus demonstrate that coordinating transmission planning with renewable energy deployment is critical to maximize both local air quality benefits and global climate benefits.
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Qin, Yue, Fabian Wagner, Noah Scovronick, Wei Peng, Junnan Yang, Tong Zhu, Kirk R. Smith, and Denise L. Mauzerall+. “Air quality, health, and climate implications of China's synthetic natural gas development.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114, no. 19 (2017): 4887-4892.Abstract
Facing severe air pollution and growing dependence on natural gas imports, the Chinese government plans to increase coal-based synthetic natural gas (SNG) production. Although displacement of coal with SNG benefits air quality, it increases CO2 emissions. Due to variations in air pollutant and CO2 emission factors and energy efficiencies across sectors, coal replacement with SNG results in varying degrees of air quality benefits and climate penalties. We estimate air quality, human health, and climate impacts of SNG substitution strategies in 2020. Using all production of SNG in the residential sector results in an annual decrease of ∼32,000 (20,000 to 41,000) outdoor-air-pollutionassociated premature deaths, with ranges determined by the low and high estimates of the health risks. If changes in indoor/household air pollution were also included, the decrease would be far larger. SNG deployment in the residential sector results in nearly 10 and 60 times greater reduction in premature mortality than if it is deployed in the industrial or power sectors, respectively. Due to inefficiencies in current household coal use, utilization of SNG in the residential sector results in only 20 to 30% of the carbon penalty compared with using it in the industrial or power sectors. Even if carbon capture and storage is used in SNG production with today’s technology, SNG emits 22 to 40% more CO2 than the same amount of conventional gas. Among the SNG deployment strategies we evaluate, allocating currently planned SNG to households provides the largest air quality and health benefits with the smallest carbon penalties
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2016
Liu, Jun, Denise L. Mauzerall+, Qi Chen, Qiang Zhang, Yu Song, Wei Peng, Zbigniew Klimont, et al.Air pollutant emissions from Chinese households: A major and underappreciated ambient pollution source.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (2016).Abstract
As part of the 12th Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government has developed air pollution prevention and control plans for key regions with a focus on the power, transport, and industrial sectors. Here, we investigate the contribution of residential emissions to regional air pollution in highly polluted eastern China during the heating season, and find that dramatic improvements in air quality would also result from reduction in residential emissions. We use the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry to evaluate potential residential emission controls in Beijing and in the Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei (BTH) region. In January and February 2010, relative to the base case, eliminating residential emissions in Beijing reduced daily average surface PM2.5 (particulate mater with aerodynamic diameter equal or smaller than 2.5 micrometer) concentrations by 14 ± 7 μg·m−3 (22 ± 6% of a baseline concentration of 67 ± 41 μg·m−3 ; mean ± SD). Eliminating residential emissions in the BTH region reduced concentrations by 28 ± 19 μg·m−3 (40 ± 9% of 67 ± 41 μg·m−3 ), 44 ± 27 μg·m−3 (43 ± 10% of 99 ± 54 μg·m−3 ), and 25 ± 14 μg·m−3 (35 ± 8% of 70 ± 35 μg·m−3 ) in Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei provinces, respectively. Annually, elimination of residential sources in the BTH region reduced emissions of primary PM2.5 by 32%, compared with 5%, 6%, and 58% achieved by eliminating emissions from the transportation, power, and industry sectors, respectively. We also find air quality in Beijing would benefit substantially from reductions in residential emissions from regional controls in Tianjin and Hebei, indicating the value of policies at the regional level.
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Sun, Kang, Lei Tao, David J. Miller, Da Pan, Levi M. Golston, Mark A. Zondlo, Robert J. Griffin, et al.Vehicle Emissions as an Important Urban Ammonia Source in the United States and China.” Environmental Science & Technology (2016). Full Article PDF
2013
Fang, Yuanyuan, Denise L. Mauzerall+, Junfeng Liu, Arlene M. Fiore, and Larry W. Horowitz. “Impacts of 21st century climate change on global air pollution-related premature mortality.” Climatic Change 121 (2013): 239-253.Abstract
Climate change modulates surface concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone (O3), indirectly affecting premature mortality attributed to air pollution. We estimate the change in global premature mortality and years of life lost (YLL) associated with changes in surface O3 and PM2.5 over the 21st century as a result of climate change. We use a global coupled chemistry-climate model to simulate current and future climate and the effect of changing climate on air quality. Epidemiological concentration-response relationships are applied to estimate resulting changes in premature mortality and YLL. The effect of climate change on air quality is isolated by holding emissions of air pollutants constant while allowing climate to evolve over the 21st century according to a moderate projection of greenhouse gas emissions (A1B scenario). Resulting changes in 21st century climate alone lead to an increase in simulated PM2.5 concentrations globally, and to higher (lower) O3 concentrations over populated (remote) regions. Global annual premature mortality associated with chronic exposure to PM2.5 increases by approximately 100 thousand deaths (95 % confidence interval, CI, of 66–130 thousand) with corresponding YLL increasing by nearly 900 thousand (95 % CI, 576–1,128 thousand) years. The annual premature mortality due to respiratory disease associated with chronic O3 exposure increases by +6,300 deaths (95 % CI, 1,600–10,400). This climate penalty indicates that stronger emission controls will be needed in the future to meet current air quality standards and to avoid higher health risks associated with climate change induced worsening of air quality over populated regions.
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Fang, Yuanyuan, Vaishali Naik, Larry W. Horowitz, and Denise L. Mauzerall+. “Air pollution and associated human mortality: The role of air pollutant emissions, climate change and methane concentration increases from the preindustrial period to the present.” Atmospheric Chemistry Physics (2013).Abstract
Increases in surface ozone (O3) and fine particulate matter (≤ 2.5 µm aerodynamic diameter, PM2.5) are associated with excess premature human mortalities. We estimate changes in surface O3 and PM2.5 from pre-industrial (1860) to present (2000) and the global present-day (2000) premature human mortalities associated with these changes. We extend previous work to differentiate the contribution of changes in three factors: emissions of short-lived air pollutants, climate change, and increased methane (CH4) concentrations, to air pollution levels and associated premature mortalities. We use a coupled chemistry-climate model in conjunction with global population distributions in 2000 to estimate exposure attributable to concentration changes since 1860 from each factor. Attributable mortalities are estimated using health impact functions of long-term relative risk estimates for O3 and PM2.5 from the epidemiology literature. We find global mean surface PM2.5 and health-relevant O3 (defined as the maximum 6-month mean of 1-h daily maximum O3 in a year) have increased by 8 ± 0.16 µg m−3 and 30 ± 0.16 ppbv (results reported as annual average ±standard deviation of 10-yr model simulations), respectively, over this industrial period as a result of combined changes in emissions of air pollutants (EMIS), climate (CLIM) and CH4 concentrations (TCH4). EMIS, CLIM and TCH4 cause global population-weighted average PM2.5 (O3) to change by +7.5 ± 0.19 µg m−3 (+25 ± 0.30 ppbv), +0.4 ± 0.17 µg m−3 (+0.5 ± 0.28 ppbv), and 0.04 ± 0.24 µg m−3 (+4.3 ± 0.33 ppbv), respectively. Total global changes in PM2.5 are associated with 1.5 (95 % confidence interval, CI, 1.2–1.8) million cardiopulmonary mortalities and 95 (95 % CI, 44–144) thousand lung cancer mortalities annually and changes in O3 are associated with 375 (95 % CI, 129–592) thousand respiratory mortalities annually. Most air pollution mortality is driven by changes in emissions of short-lived air pollutants and their precursors (95 % and 85 % of mortalities from PM2.5 and O3 respectively). However, changing climate and increasing CH4 concentrations also contribute to premature mortality associated with air pollution globally (by up to 5 % and 15 %, respectively). In some regions, the contribution of climate change and increased CH4 together are responsible for more than 20 % of the respiratory mortality associated with O3 exposure. We find the interaction between climate change and atmospheric chemistry has influenced atmospheric composition and human mortality associated with industrial air pollution. Our study highlights the benefits to air quality and human health of CH4 mitigation as a component of future air pollution control policy.
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2011
Mauzerall, Denise L.Methane Mitigation – Benefits for air quality, health, crop yields, and climate.” IGAC Newsletter (2011): 17-18. Full Text PDF
Jacob, D. J., DL Mauzerall, JM Fernandez, and WT Pennell. “Global Change and Air Quality.” In Technical challenges of multipollutant air quality management, 395-432. Springer, 2011. Full Chapter PDF
2010
Zhang, J., DL Mauzerall, T Zhu, S Liang, M Ezzati, and J Remais. “Environmental health in China: challenges to achieving clean air and safe water.” The Lancet 375 (2010): 1110–19.Abstract
Environmental risk factors, especially air and water pollution, are a major source of morbidity and mortality in China. Biomass fuel and coal are burned for cooking and heating in almost all rural and many urban households, resulting in severe indoor air pollution that contributes greatly to the burden of disease. Many communities lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and thus the risk of waterborne disease in many regions is high. At the same time, China is rapidly industrialising with associated increases in energy use and industrial waste. Although economic growth from industrialisation has improved health and quality of life indicators, it has also increased the release of chemical toxins into the environment and the rate of environmental disasters, with severe eff ects on health. Air quality in China’s cities is among the worst in the world, and industrial water pollution has become a widespread health hazard. Moreover, emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gases from energy use are rapidly increasing. Global climate change will inevitably intensify China’s environmental health troubles, with potentially catastrophic outcomes from major shifts in temperature and precipitation. Facing the overlap of traditional, modern, and emerging environmental dilemmas, China has committed substantial resources to environmental improvement. The country has the opportunity to address its national environmental health challenges and to assume a central role in the international eff ort to improve the global environment.
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2008
Tong, DQ, and DL Mauzerall+. “Summertime State-Level Source-Receptor Relationships between Nitrogen Oxide Emissions and Downwind Surface Ozone Concentrations over the Continental United States.” Environmental Science & Technology (2008).Abstract
Interstate transport of ozone (O3) and its precursors can contribute substantially to state-level surface O3 concentrations, making it difficult for some states to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for O3 by limiting only their own emissions. We analyze the effect of interstate transport on surface O3 in each continental U.S. state in July 1996 using the community multiscale air quality (CMAQ) model. By examining the difference between a baseline simulation and perturbation simulations in which each state’s nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions are removed, we establish for the first time a summertime source-receptor matrixfor all 48 continental states. We find that for 16 (20) states at least one neighboring state’s NOx emissions are responsible for a larger increase in monthly mean peak 8 h (all-hour) O3 concentrations than the state’s own emissions. For over 80% of the contiguous states, interstatetransport is more importantthan local emissions for summertime peak O3 concentrations. Our source-receptor matrices indicate that the geographic range of the clean air interstate rule (CAIR) was sufficient to address interstate transport of O3 in most of the states included in the program. However, the exclusion of Texas, which has particularly large NOx emissions, from the CAIR O3 program left emission sources uncontrolled that contribute more than 1 ppbv to the July mean of peak8hO3 concentrations in over a dozen states.
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2006
Tong, D.Q., and D. L. Mauzerall. “Spatial variability of summertime tropospheric ozone over the continental United States: Implications of an evaluation of the CMAQ model.” Atmospheric Environment 40 (2006): 3041-3056.Abstract
This study evaluates the ability of the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model to simulate the spatial variability of summertime ozone (O3) at the surface and in the free troposphere over the continental United States. Simulated surface O3 concentrations are compared with 987 Air Quality System (AQS) sites and 123 Clean Air Status and Trends Network (CASTNet) sites. CMAQ’s ability to reproduce surface observations varies with O3 concentration. The model best simulates observed O3 for intermediate concentrations (40–60 ppbv), while over-(under-) predicting at lower (higher) levels. CMAQ reproduces surface O3 for a wide range of conditions (30–80 ppbv) with a normalized mean error (NME) less than 35% and normalized mean bias (NMB) lying between 715% for the whole domain. Although systematically over-predicting O3 in the east and under-predicting it in the western United States, CMAQ is able to reproduce 1- and 8-h daily maxima with a cross-domain mean bias (MB) of 1 and 8 ppbv, or NMB of 8% and 25%, respectively. The model underestimates observed O3 at rural sites (MB ¼ 5 ppbv, NMB ¼ 5% and NME ¼ 23% with a 40 ppbv cut-off value) and over-predicts it at urban and suburban sites by a similar magnitude (MB ¼ 6 ppbv, NMB ¼ 7% and NME ¼ 25%). Apparent errors and biases decrease when data is averaged over longer periods, suggesting that most evaluation statistics are dependent on the time scale of data aggregation. Therefore, performance criteria should specify an averaging period (e.g., 1- or 8- h) and not be independent of averaging period as some current model evaluation studies imply. Comparisons of vertical profiles of simulated O3 with ozonesonde data show both overestimation and underestimation by 10–20 ppbv in the lower troposphere and a consistent under-prediction in the upper troposphere. Vertical O3 distributions are better simulated when lateral boundary conditions obtained from the global Model of Ozone and Related Tracers version 2 (MOZART-2) are used, but under-prediction remains. The assumption of zero-flux at the top boundary and the resulting exclusion of the contribution of stratosphere–troposphere exchange to tropospheric O3 concentrations limit the ability of CMAQ to reproduce O3 concentrations in the upper troposphere. r 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Tong, D.Q., N.Z. Muller, D. L. Mauzerall, and R.O. Mendelsohn. “Integrated Assessment of the Spatial Variability of Ozone Impacts from Emissions of Nitrogen Oxides.” Environmental Science and Technology 40, no. 5 (2006): 1395-1400.Abstract
This paper examines the ozone (O3) damages caused by nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions in different locations around the Atlanta metropolitan area during a summer month. We calculate O3 impacts using a new integrated assessment model that links pollution emissions to their chemical transformation, transport, population exposures, and effects on human health. We find that increased NOx emissions in rural areas around Atlanta increase human exposure to ambient O3 twice as much as suburban emissions. However, increased NOx emissions in central city Atlanta actually reduce O3 exposures. For downtown emissions, the reduction in human exposures to O3 from titration by NO in the central city outweighs the effects from increased downwind O3. The results indicate that the marginal damage from NOx emissions varies greatly across a metropolitan area. The results raise concerns if cap and trade regulations cause emissions to migrate toward higher marginal damage locations.
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West, J.J., A. F. Fiore, L. W. Horowitz, and D. L. Mauzerall. “Mitigating Ozone Pollution with Methane Emission Controls: Global Health Benefits.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 103, no. 11 (2006).Abstract
Methane (CH4) contributes to the growing global background concentration of tropospheric ozone (O3), an air pollutant associated with premature mortality. Methane and ozone are also important greenhouse gases. Reducing methane emissions therefore decreases surface ozone everywhere while slowing climate warming, but although methane mitigation has been considered to address climate change, it has not for air quality. Here we show that global decreases in surface ozone concentrations, due to methane mitigation, result in substantial and widespread decreases in premature human mortality. Reducing global anthropogenic methane emissions by 20% beginning in 2010 would decrease the average daily maximum 8-h surface ozone by 1 part per billion by volume globally. By using epidemiologic ozonemortality relationships, this ozone reduction is estimated to prevent 30,000 premature all-cause mortalities globally in 2030, and 370,000 between 2010 and 2030. If only cardiovascular and respiratory mortalities are considered, 17,000 global mortalities can be avoided in 2030. The marginal cost-effectiveness of this 20% methane reduction is estimated to be $420,000 per avoided mortality. If avoided mortalities are valued at $1 million each, the benefit is $240 per tonne of CH4 ($12 per tonne of CO2 equivalent), which exceeds the marginal cost of the methane reduction. These estimated air pollution ancillary benefits of climate-motivated methane emission reductions are comparable with those estimated previously for CO2. Methane mitigation offers a unique opportunity to improve air quality globally and can be a cost-effective component of international ozone management, bringing multiple benefits for air quality, public health, agriculture, climate, and energy.
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2005
Mauzerall, D. L, B. Sultan, J Kim, and D. Bradford. “NOx Emissions: Variability in Ozone Production, Resulting Health Damages and Economic Costs.” Atmospheric Environment 39, no. 16 (2005): 2851-2866.Abstract
We present a proof-of-concept analysis of the measurement of the health damage of ozone (O3) produced from nitrogen oxides ðNOx ¼ NO þ NO2Þ emitted by individual large point sources in the eastern United States. We use a regional atmospheric model of the eastern United States, the Comprehensive Air quality Model with Extensions (CAMx), to quantify the variable impact that a fixed quantity of NOx emitted from individual sources can have on the downwind concentration of surface O3, depending on temperature and local biogenic hydrocarbon emissions. We also examine the dependence of resulting O3-related health damages on the size of the exposed population. The investigation is relevant to the increasingly widely used ‘‘cap and trade’’ approach to NOx regulation, which presumes that shifts of emissions over time and space, holding the total fixed over the course of the summer O3 season, will have minimal effect on the environmental outcome. By contrast, we show that a shift of a unit of NOx emissions from one place or time to another could result in large changes in resulting health effects due to O3 formation and exposure. We indicate how the type of modeling carried out here might be used to attach externality-correcting prices to emissions. Charging emitters fees that are commensurate with the damage caused by their NOx emissions would create an incentive for emitters to reduce emissions at times and in locations where they cause the largest damage.
Full Article PDF
2004
Committee on Air Quality Management in the United States, Air Quality Management in the United States. National Research Council/National Academies of Science, 2004.