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Co-benefits of global and regional greenhouse gas mitigation for US air quality in 2050

Environmental Health Economic Analysis Annotated Bibliography

Details

Research article Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)
Authors
Zhang YQ, Bowden JH, Adelman Z, Naik V, Horowitz LW, Smith SJ, and West JJ
Journal
Atmos Chem Phys
Summary
This study used a systematic approach to quantify the co-benefits from both the global and regional greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation for regional air quality over the United States at fine resolution in 2050, building on scenarios and findings from a 2013 global co-benefits study. The authors found that the total co-benefits of global GHG mitigation from the RCP4.5 scenario compared with its reference were estimated to be higher in the eastern U.S. than the west for PM2.5, while for ozone, the total co-benefits were more uniform. Reductions in co-emitted air pollutants had a much greater influence on both PM2.5 (96 percent of the total co-benefits) and ozone (89 percent of the total) than co-benefits achieved via slowing climate change. Furthermore, GHG mitigation from foreign countries contributes more to the U.S. ozone reduction (76 percent of the total) than that from domestic GHG mitigation only (24 percent); and for PM2.5, the benefits of domestic GHG control are greater (74 percent of total). The authors conclude that the U.S. can gain significantly greater domestic air quality co-benefits by engaging with other nations to control GHGs.
Population
Not available

Health Outcomes

  • Not available

Environmental Agents

List of Environmental Agents:

  • Air pollutants (ozone, particulate matter (PM 2.5/fine))

Source of Environmental Agents:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source

Type:

  • Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)

Cost Measured: (Not available)

Potential Cost Measures: (Not available)

Benefits Measures:

  • Co-benefits from global and domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation
  • seasonal and spatial patterns of future air quality changes as a result of GHG mitigation
  • emission benefits
  • air quality benefits from global and domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation (e.g., reduced co-emitted air pollutants, slowing climate change and its influence on air quality)

Potential Benefits: (Not available)

Location:

  • United States (nine regions in the contiguous U.S.)

Models Used:

  • Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model
  • Sparse Matrix Operator Kernel Emissions (SMOKE) program
  • Community Multiscale Air Quality Model (CMAQ)
  • Model of Ozone And Related Chemical Tracers, version 4, (MOZART-4)
  • chemical transport models (CTMs)

Methods Used:

  • The authors build on scenarios from a previous global co-benefits study (West et al., 2013, or WEST2013) to examine the co-benefits of both global and regional greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation for U.S. air quality in 2050 at fine resolution. They — 1) used a comprehensive modeling framework for their downscaling processes, including a regional climate model (Weather Research and Forecasting model), to dynamically downscale the global climate to the contiguous United States; 2) used an emissions processing program (Sparse Matrix Operator Kernel Emissions) to directly process the global anthropogenic emissions to the regional scale; 3) created dynamical boundary conditions from the global co-benefit outputs for the regional chemical transport model; 4) quantified the total co-benefits of global GHG mitigation for U.S. air quality for both PM2.5 and O3; 5) separated the co-benefits into the two mechanisms analyzed by WEST2013 (i.e., co-benefits from reductions in co-emitted air pollutants and co-benefits from slowing climate change and its influence on air quality; 6) quantified the co-benefits from domestic GHG mitigation versus the co-benefits from those of foreign countries' reductions; and 7) presented the co-benefits from global and domestic GHG mitigation for nine U.S. regions.

Sources Used:

  • Co-benefits of global greenhouse gas mitigation for future air quality and human health (West et al., 2013); A time-split nonhydrostatic atmospheric model for weather research and forecasting applications (Skamarock and Klemp, 2008); Emission inventory development and processing for the Seasonal Model for Regional Air Quality (SM-RAQ) project (Houyoux et al., 2000); Review of the governing equations, computational algorithms, and other components of the Models-3 Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) Modeling System (Byun and Schere, 2006); US National Emissions Inventory (NEI); Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) datasets (REF and RCP4.5 scenarios); additional sources cited in publication

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source

Citation:

  • Zhang YQ, Bowden JH, Adelman Z, Naik V, Horowitz LW, Smith SJ, and West JJ. 2016. Co-benefits of global and regional greenhouse gas mitigation for US air quality in 2050. Atmos Chem Phys.

Pubmed:

DOI:

NIEHS Funding:

  • 1R21ES022600

Other Funding:

  • U.S. EPA STAR grant number 834285