EAST ASIAN AIR POLLUTION - IMPACTS ON AIR QUALITY, PREMATURE MORTALITY AND RADIATIVE FORCING
Evaluating impacts of air pollution in China on local public health: Implications for future air pollution and energy policies in China
To establish the link between energy consumption and technologies, air pollution concentrations, and resulting impacts on public health in eastern China we used Zaozhuang, a city in eastern China heavily dependent on coal, as a case study to quantify the impacts that air pollution in eastern China had on public health in 2000 and the benefits in improved air quality and health that could be obtained by 2020, relative to business-as-usual (BAU), through the implementation of best available emission control technology (BACT) and advanced coal gasification technologies (ACGT). We made significant advances over previous work by first developing a highly spatially and temporally resolved emission inventory for eastern China for 2000 and for three 2020 scenarios (Wang, Mauzerall et al., 2005) and by using use a sophisticated regional air quality modeling system (Models3 - CMAQ/MM5/SMOKE) to simulate pollution levels in 2000 and 2020 over eastern China (Wang and Mauzerall, 2006). Uncertainties in emissions are an obstacle to accurately predicting air pollution concentrations and impacts. We developed an emission inventory that includes both sector specific anthropogenic and biogenic emissions for 2000 and three emission scenarios for 2020 [Wang, Mauzerall et al., 2005] thus permitting an evaluation of the benefits of the use of different energy and air pollution control technologies. We evaluated the 2000 inventory by using a regional model, Models3, to simulate ambient air pollution concentrations in eastern China and compared simulated pollutant concentrations with available measurements. Our emission estimates for year 2000 are higher than other studies for most pollutants, although our inventory evaluation suggests we likely still underestimated actual emissions.
We then used an integrated assessment approach which combined the emission inventories and air quality modeling with engineering, epidemiology, and economics, to evaluate the monetary benefit of improved air quality on health. We found that total health damages due to year 2000 anthropogenic emissions from Zaozhuang, using the ‘‘willingness-to-pay’’ metric, was equivalent to 10% of Zaozhuang’s GDP (Wang and Mauzerall, 2006). If all health damages resulting from coal use were internalized in the market price of coal, the year 2000 price would have more than tripled. With no new air pollution controls implemented between 2000 and 2020 but with projected increases in energy use, we projected health damages from air pollution exposure would be equivalent to 16% of Zaozhuang’s projected 2020 GDP. BACT and ACGT could reduce the potential health damage of air pollution in 2020 to 13% and 8% of projected GDP, respectively. Despite significant uncertainty associated with each element of the integrated assessment approach, we demonstrate that substantial benefits to public health could be achieved in this region of eastern China through the use of additional pollution controls and particularly from the use of advanced coal gasification technology (which would also permit the sequestration of carbon dioxide). Without such controls, the impacts of air pollution on public health, considerable in year 2000, will increase substantially by 2020.
Wang, X. and D. L. Mauzerall, Evaluating Impacts of Air Pollution in China on Public Health: Implications for Future Air Pollution and Energy Policies, Atmospheric Environment, Volume 40, Issue 9, Pages 1706-1721, 2006.
Present and Potential future contributions of aerosols from China to global air quality, premature mortality and radiative forcing.
In this project we expanded on our earlier research to examine implications of present and potential future emissions of sulfate, black and organic carbon aerosols from China on global air quality, resulting premature mortalities both within China and globally, and in particular, the implications of possible future emissions on radiative forcing and climate (Saikawa et al., 2009). This is the first time that health and radiative impacts of the present and potential future emission of air pollutants have been examined in a consistent fashion.
Aerosols are harmful to human health and have both direct and indirect effects on climate. China is a major contributor to global emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO
Saikawa, E., V. Naik, L.W. Horowitz, J. Liu, D.L. Mauzerall, Present and potential future contributions of sulfate, black and organic carbon aerosols from China to global air quality, premature mortality and radiative forcing, Atmospheric Environment, 43 (2009) 2814–2822, 2009.
Environmental health in China: progress towards clean air and safe water
Although economic growth from industrialization has improved health and quality of life indicators in China, it has also increased the release of chemical toxins and greenhouse gases into the environment with severe effects on health. Facing the overlap of traditional, modern, and emerging environmental dilemmas, we found that 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 effort to improve the global environment.
Zhang, J, DL Mauzerall, T Zhu, S Liang, M Ezzati, J Remais. Environmental health in China: challenges to achieving clean air and safe water, The Lancet, 375: 1110–19,2010.
Impact of emission reductions, regional transport and precipitation on air quality during the 2008 Beijing summer Olympics.
This study is examining the influence of emission reduction measures, regional transport and precipitation on air quality during the 2008 Beijing summer Olympics. Two sets of numerical simulations were performed with WRF-Chem, one using BAU emissions (standard summer emissions in previous years) and one using a reduced emission scenario (RES) representing reduced emissions during the summer of the Olympics. The model was evaluated with available observations and differences between the two simulations were analyzed. Preliminary conclusions include that emission reduction efforts, including shutting down factories, halting construction, and reducing vehicle traffic during the Olympics lead to a daily reduction in central Beijing surface emissions of SO
Impact of Present and Potential Future Vehicle Emissions in China on Regional Air Quality: The benefit of vehicle emission regulations.
Along with industrialization, the number of vehicles in China is growing exponentially. In this project we evaluate the current and possible future vehicle emissions from China and their impacts on Asian air quality. We modify the Regional Emission Inventory for Asia (REAS) for China’s road transport sector in 2000 and create two scenarios for 2020 using the updated Chinese data for vehicle numbers, annual mileage and emission factors. For the scenarios in 2020, we include a business-as-usual (same emission factors as in 2000), and a Euro 3 scenario. The Euro 3 scenario represents a case in which all vehicles meet the Euro 3 vehicle emission standards in 2020. This is plausible considering that the current national standards for new cars in China are Euro 3. Using the Weather Research Forecast model with chemistry (WRF-Chem), we further examine the regional air quality response to these three scenarios in China in 2000 and 2020. We evaluate the 2000 model results using O