Assessment and economic valuation of air pollution impacts on human health over Europe and the United States as calculated by a multi-model ensemble in the framework of AQMEII3
The impact of air pollution on human health and the associated external costs in Europe and the United States (US) for the year 2010 are modeled by a multi-model ensemble of regional models in the frame of the third phase of the Air Quality Modelling Evaluation International Initiative (AQMEII3). The modeled surface concentrations of O
3, CO, SO
2 and PM
2.5 are used as input to the Economic Valuation of Air Pollution (EVA) system to calculate the resulting health impacts and the associated external costs from each individual model. Along with a base case simulation, additional runs were performed introducing 20 % anthropogenic emission reductions both globally and regionally in Europe, North America and east Asia, as defined by the second phase of the Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution (TF-HTAP2).
Health impacts estimated by using concentration inputs from different chemistry–transport models (CTMs) to the EVA system can vary up to a factor of 3 in Europe (12 models) and the United States (3 models). In Europe, the multi-model mean total number of premature deaths (acute and chronic) is calculated to be 414 000, while in the US, it is estimated to be 160 000, in agreement with previous global and regional studies. The economic valuation of these health impacts is calculated to be EUR 300 billion and 145 billion in Europe and the US, respectively. A subset of models that produce the smallest error compared to the surface observations at each time step against an all-model mean ensemble results in increase of health impacts by up to 30 % in Europe, while in the US, the optimal ensemble mean led to a decrease in the calculated health impacts by ∼ 11 %.
A total of 54 000 and 27 500 premature deaths can be avoided by a 20 % reduction of global anthropogenic emissions in Europe and the US, respectively. A 20 % reduction of North American anthropogenic emissions avoids a total of ∼ 1000 premature deaths in Europe and 25 000 total premature deaths in the US. A 20 % decrease of anthropogenic emissions within the European source region avoids a total of 47 000 premature deaths in Europe. Reducing the east Asian anthropogenic emissions by 20 % avoids ∼ 2000 total premature deaths in the US. These results show that the domestic anthropogenic emissions make the largest impacts on premature deaths on a continental scale, while foreign sources make a minor contribution to adverse impacts of air pollution.