Pollutant emission reductions deliver decreased PM 2.5-caused mortality across China during 2015–2017

Silver, Ben; Conibear, Luke; Reddington, Carly L.; Knote, Christoph; Arnold, Steve R.; Spracklen, Dominick V.

Air pollution is a serious environmental issue and leading contributor to disease burden in China. Rapid reductions in fine particulate matter (PMinline-formula2.5) concentrations and increased ozone concentrations occurred across China during 2015 to 2017. We used measurements of particulate matter with a diameter inline-formula<2.5inline-formulaµm (PMinline-formula2.5) and ozone (inline-formulaO3) from more than 1000 stations across China along with Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry (WRF-Chem) regional air quality simulations, to explore the drivers and impacts of observed trends. The measured nationwide median PMinline-formula2.5 trend of inline-formula M9inlinescrollmathml - normal 3.4 nobreak0.125em unit normal µ normal g nobreak0.125em normal m - normal 3 nobreak0.125em normal yr - normal 1 80pt15ptsvg-formulamathimg360c33cd5bbe0cd7a21c3548e76af98d acp-20-11683-2020-ie00001.svg80pt15ptacp-20-11683-2020-ie00001.png was well simulated by the model (inline-formula M10inlinescrollmathml - normal 3.5 0.125emnobreak unit normal µ normal g 0.125emnobreak normal m - normal 3 nobreak0.125em normal yr - normal 1 80pt15ptsvg-formulamathimg21a0dd38263feecb02dcba92286c635f acp-20-11683-2020-ie00002.svg80pt15ptacp-20-11683-2020-ie00002.png ). With anthropogenic emissions fixed at 2015 levels, the simulated trend was much weaker (inline-formula M11inlinescrollmathml - normal 0.6 nobreak0.125em unit normal µ normal g 0.125emnobreak normal m - normal 3 nobreak0.125em normal yr - normal 1 80pt15ptsvg-formulamathimgb3e4efb61a626e3442634fd15e0b3444 acp-20-11683-2020-ie00003.svg80pt15ptacp-20-11683-2020-ie00003.png ), demonstrating that interannual variability in meteorology played a minor role in the observed PMinline-formula2.5 trend. The model simulated increased ozone concentrations in line with the measurements but underestimated the magnitude of the observed absolute trend by a factor of 2. We combined simulated trends in PMinline-formula2.5 concentrations with an exposure–response function to estimate that reductions in PMinline-formula2.5 concentrations over this period have reduced PMinline-formula2.5-attributable premature mortality across China by 150 000 deaths yrinline-formula−1.

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Silver, Ben / Conibear, Luke / Reddington, Carly L. / et al: Pollutant emission reductions deliver decreased PM2.5-caused mortality across China during 2015–2017. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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