skip to main content

Title: How Will Air Quality Change in South Asia by 2050?: How Will Air Quality Change in South Asia by 2050?
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Future air quality will be driven by changes in air pollutant emissions, but also changes in climate. Here, we review the recent literature on future air quality scenarios and projected changes in effects on human health, crops and ecosystems. While there is overlap in the scenarios and models used for future projections of air quality and climate effects on human health and crops, similar efforts have not been widely conducted for ecosystems. Few studies have conducted joint assessments across more than one sector. Improvements in future air quality effects on human health are seen in emission reduction scenarios that are more ambitious than current legislation. Larger impacts result from changing particulate matter (PM) abundances than ozone burdens. Future global health burdens are dominated by changes in the Asian region. Expected future reductions in ozone outside of Asia will allow for increased crop production. Reductions in PM, although associated with much higher uncertainty, could offset some of this benefit. The responses of ecosystems to air pollution and climate change are long-term, complex, and interactive, and vary widely across biomes and over space and time. Air quality and climate policy should be linked or at least considered holistically, and managed as amore »multi-media problem. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue ‘Air quality, past present and future’.« less
  2. Many studies have reported associations between respiratory symptoms and resident proximity to traffic. However, only a few have documented information about the relationship between traffic volume and air quality in local areas. This study investigates the impact of traffic volume on air quality at different geographical locations in the state of South Carolina using multilevel linear mixed models and Grey Systems. Historical traffic volume and air quality data between 2006 and 2016 are obtained from the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitoring stations. The data are used to develop prediction models that relate Air Quality Index (AQI) to traffic volume for selected counties and schools. For the counties, two models are developed, one with Ozone (O3) and one with PM2:5 as the dependent variable. For the schools, only one model is developed, with O3 as the dependent variable. The number of counties and schools studied are limited by the availability of air monitoring stations dedicated to measuring O3 and PM2:5. Several types of models were investigated. They include linear regression model (LM), linear mixed-effect regression model (LMER), Grey Systems (GM), error corrected GM (EGM), Grey Verhulst (GV), error corrected GV (EGV),more »and LMER + EGM. The LM model produced the least accurate estimate while the LMER + EGM model produced the most accurate estimate (average RMSE is less than 5%). The models’ estimates suggest that air quality in South Carolina will continue to get worse in the coming years due to increasing AADT. An interesting finding of this study is that some counties and schools will have higher levels of O3 or PM2:5 when AADT decreases. This finding suggests that there are other factors, other than AADT, that influence the air quality in these counties and schools.« less
  3. In recent years, air pollution has caused more than 1 million deaths per year in China, making it a major focus of public health efforts. However, future climate change may exacerbate such human health impacts by increasing the frequency and duration of weather conditions that enhance air pollution exposure. Here, we use a combination of climate, air quality, and epidemiological models to assess future air pollution deaths in a changing climate under Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5 (RCP4.5). We find that, assuming pollution emissions and population are held constant at current levels, climate change would adversely affect future air quality for >85% of China’s population (∼55% of land area) by the middle of the century, and would increase by 3% and 4% the population-weighted average concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone, respectively. As a result, we estimate an additional 12,100 and 8,900 Chinese (95% confidence interval: 10,300 to 13,800 and 2,300 to 14,700, respectively) will die per year from PM2.5 and ozone exposure, respectively. The important underlying climate mechanisms are changes in extreme conditions such as atmospheric stagnation and heat waves (contributing 39% and 6%, respectively, to the increase in mortality). Additionally, greater vulnerability of China’s aging population willmore »further increase the estimated deaths from PM2.5 and ozone in 2050 by factors of 1 and 3, respectively. Our results indicate that climate change and more intense extremes are likely to increase the risk of severe pollution events in China. Managing air quality in China in a changing climate will thus become more challenging.« less