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

Abstract

Policies to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will not only slow climate change but can also have ancillary benefits of improved air quality. Here we examine the co-benefits of both global and regional GHG mitigation for US air quality in 2050 at fine resolution, using dynamical downscaling methods, building on a previous global co-benefits study (West et al., 2013). The co-benefits for US air quality are quantified via two mechanisms: through reductions in co-emitted air pollutants from the same sources and by slowing climate change and its influence on air quality, following West et al. (2013). Additionally, we separate the total co-benefits into contributions from domestic GHG mitigation vs. mitigation in foreign countries. We use the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to dynamically downscale future global climate to the regional scale and the Sparse Matrix Operator Kernel Emissions (SMOKE) program to directly process global anthropogenic emissions to the regional domain, and we provide dynamical boundary conditions from global simulations to the regional Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ) model. The total co-benefits of global GHG mitigation from the RCP4.5 scenario compared with its reference are estimated to be higher in the eastern US (ranging from 0.6 to 1.0 µg m -3)more » than the west (0–0.4 µg m -3) for fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), with an average of 0.47 µg m -3 over the US; for O 3, the total co-benefits are more uniform at 2–5 ppb, with a US average of 3.55 ppb. Comparing the two mechanisms of co-benefits, we find that reductions in co-emitted air pollutants have a much greater influence on both PM 2.5 (96 % of the total co-benefits) and O 3 (89 % of the total) than the second co-benefits mechanism via slowing climate change, consistent with West et al. (2013). GHG mitigation from foreign countries contributes more to the US O 3 reduction (76 % of the total) than that from domestic GHG mitigation only (24 %), highlighting the importance of global methane reductions and the intercontinental transport of air pollutants. For PM 2.5, the benefits of domestic GHG control are greater (74 % of total). Since foreign contributions to co-benefits can be substantial, with foreign O 3 benefits much larger than those from domestic reductions, previous studies that focus on local or regional co-benefits may greatly underestimate the total co-benefits of global GHG reductions. We conclude that the US can gain significantly greater domestic air quality co-benefits by engaging with other nations to control GHGs.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1340880
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-121099
Journal ID: ISSN 1680-7324; KP1703030
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Online); Journal Volume: 16; Journal Issue: 15
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Zhang, Yuqiang, Bowden, Jared H., Adelman, Zachariah, Naik, Vaishali, Horowitz, Larry W., Smith, Steven J., and West, J. Jason. Co-benefits of global and regional greenhouse gas mitigation for US air quality in 2050. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.5194/acp-16-9533-2016.
Zhang, Yuqiang, Bowden, Jared H., Adelman, Zachariah, Naik, Vaishali, Horowitz, Larry W., Smith, Steven J., & West, J. Jason. Co-benefits of global and regional greenhouse gas mitigation for US air quality in 2050. United States. doi:10.5194/acp-16-9533-2016.
Zhang, Yuqiang, Bowden, Jared H., Adelman, Zachariah, Naik, Vaishali, Horowitz, Larry W., Smith, Steven J., and West, J. Jason. 2016. "Co-benefits of global and regional greenhouse gas mitigation for US air quality in 2050". United States. doi:10.5194/acp-16-9533-2016.
@article{osti_1340880,
title = {Co-benefits of global and regional greenhouse gas mitigation for US air quality in 2050},
author = {Zhang, Yuqiang and Bowden, Jared H. and Adelman, Zachariah and Naik, Vaishali and Horowitz, Larry W. and Smith, Steven J. and West, J. Jason},
abstractNote = {Policies to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will not only slow climate change but can also have ancillary benefits of improved air quality. Here we examine the co-benefits of both global and regional GHG mitigation for US air quality in 2050 at fine resolution, using dynamical downscaling methods, building on a previous global co-benefits study (West et al., 2013). The co-benefits for US air quality are quantified via two mechanisms: through reductions in co-emitted air pollutants from the same sources and by slowing climate change and its influence on air quality, following West et al. (2013). Additionally, we separate the total co-benefits into contributions from domestic GHG mitigation vs. mitigation in foreign countries. We use the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to dynamically downscale future global climate to the regional scale and the Sparse Matrix Operator Kernel Emissions (SMOKE) program to directly process global anthropogenic emissions to the regional domain, and we provide dynamical boundary conditions from global simulations to the regional Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ) model. The total co-benefits of global GHG mitigation from the RCP4.5 scenario compared with its reference are estimated to be higher in the eastern US (ranging from 0.6 to 1.0 µg m-3) than the west (0–0.4 µg m-3) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5), with an average of 0.47 µg m-3 over the US; for O3, the total co-benefits are more uniform at 2–5 ppb, with a US average of 3.55 ppb. Comparing the two mechanisms of co-benefits, we find that reductions in co-emitted air pollutants have a much greater influence on both PM2.5 (96 % of the total co-benefits) and O3 (89 % of the total) than the second co-benefits mechanism via slowing climate change, consistent with West et al. (2013). GHG mitigation from foreign countries contributes more to the US O3 reduction (76 % of the total) than that from domestic GHG mitigation only (24 %), highlighting the importance of global methane reductions and the intercontinental transport of air pollutants. For PM2.5, the benefits of domestic GHG control are greater (74 % of total). Since foreign contributions to co-benefits can be substantial, with foreign O3 benefits much larger than those from domestic reductions, previous studies that focus on local or regional co-benefits may greatly underestimate the total co-benefits of global GHG reductions. We conclude that the US can gain significantly greater domestic air quality co-benefits by engaging with other nations to control GHGs.},
doi = {10.5194/acp-16-9533-2016},
journal = {Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Online)},
number = 15,
volume = 16,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 8
}
  • Policies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can bring ancillary benefits of improved air quality and reduced premature mortality, in addition to slowing climate change. Here we study the co-benefits of global and domestic GHG mitigation on US air quality and human health in 2050 at fine resolution using dynamical downscaling, and quantify for the first time the co-benefits from foreign GHG mitigation. Relative to a reference scenario, global GHG reductions in RCP4.5 avoid 16000 PM2.5-related all-cause deaths yr-1 (90% confidence interval, 11700-20300), and 8000 (3600-12400) O3-related respiratory deaths yr-1 in the US in 2050. Foreign GHG mitigation avoids 15%more » and 62% of PM2.5- and O3-related total avoided deaths, highlighting the importance of foreign GHG mitigation on US human health benefits. GHG mitigation in the US residential sector brings the largest co-benefits for PM2.5-related deaths (21% of total domestic co-benefits), and industry for O3 (17%). Monetized benefits, for avoided deaths from ozone, PM2.5, and heat stress from a related study, are $148 ($96-201) per ton CO2 at high valuation and $49 ($32-67) at low valuation, of which 36% are from foreign GHG reductions. These benefits likely exceed the marginal cost of GHG reductions in 2050. The US gains significantly greater co-benefits when coordinating GHG reductions with foreign countries. Similarly, previous studies estimating co-benefits locally or regionally may greatly underestimate the full co-benefits of coordinated global actions.« less
  • Electrification plays a crucial role in cost-effective greenhouse gas emissions mitigation strategies. Such strategies in turn carry implications for financial capital markets. This paper explores the implication of climate mitigation policy for capital investment demands by the electric power sector on decade to century time scales. We go further to explore the implications of technology performance and the stringency of climate policy for capital investment demands by the power sector. Finally, we discuss the regional distribution of investment demands. We find that stabilizing GHG emissions will require additional investment in the electricity generation sector over and above investments that wouldmore » be need in the absence of climate policy, in the range of 16 to 29 Trillion US$ (60-110%) depending on the stringency of climate policy during the period 2015 to 2095 under default technology assumptions. This increase reflects the higher capital intensity of power systems that control emissions. Limits on the penetration of nuclear and carbon capture and storage technology could increase costs substantially. Energy efficiency improvements can reduce the investment requirement by 8 to21 Trillion US$ (default technology assumptions), depending on climate policy scenario with higher savings being obtained under the most stringent climate policy. The heaviest investments in power generation were observed in the China, India, SE Asia and Africa regions with the latter three regions dominating in the second half of the 21st century.« less
  • Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions also influences air quality. We simulate the co-benefits of global GHG reductions on air quality and human health via two mechanisms: a) reducing co-emitted air pollutants, and b) slowing climate change and its effect on air quality. Relative to a reference scenario, global GHG mitigation in the RCP4.5 scenario avoids 0.5±0.2, 1.3±0.6, and 2.2±1.6 million premature deaths in 2030, 2050, and 2100, from changes in fine particulate matter and ozone. Global average marginal co-benefits of avoided mortality are $40-400 (ton CO2)-1, exceeding marginal abatement costs in 2030 and 2050, and within the low range ofmore » costs in 2100. East Asian co-benefits are 10-80 times the marginal cost in 2030. These results indicate that transitioning to a low-carbon future might be justified by air quality and health co-benefits.« less
  • The recent International Panel on Climate change (IPCC) report identifies significant co-benefits from climate policies on near-term ambient air pollution and related human health outcomes [1]. This is increasingly relevant for policy making as the health impacts of air pollution are a major global concern- the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study identifies outdoor air pollution as the sixth major cause of death globally [2]. Integrated assessment models (IAMs) are an effective tool to evaluate future air pollution outcomes across a wide range of assumptions on socio-economic development and policy regimes. The Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) [3] were the firstmore » set of long-term global scenarios developed across multiple integrated assessment models that provided detailed estimates of a number of air pollutants until 2100. However these scenarios were primarily designed to cover a defined range of radiative forcing outcomes and thus did not specifically focus on the interactions of long-term climate goals on near-term air pollution impacts. More recently, [4] used the RCP4.5 scenario to evaluate the co-benefits of global GHG reductions on air quality and human health in 2030. [5-7] have further examined the interactions of more diverse pollution control regimes with climate policies. This paper extends the listed studies in a number of ways. Firstly it uses multiple IAMs to look into the co-benefits of a global climate policy for ambient air pollution under harmonized assumptions on near-term air pollution control. Multi-model frameworks have been extensively used in the analysis of climate change mitigation pathways, and the structural uncertainties regarding the underlying mechanisms (see for example [8-10]. This is to our knowledge the first time that a multi-model evaluation has been specifically designed and applied to analyze the co-benefits of climate change policy on ambient air quality, thus enabling a better understanding of at a detailed sector and region level. A second methodological advancement is a quantification of the co-benefits in terms of the associated atmospheric concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and consequent mortality related outcomes across different models. This is made possible by the use of state-of the art simplified atmospheric model that allows for the first time a computationally feasible multi-model evaluation of such outcomes.« less
  • The goal of the modeling work carried out in this project was to quantify long-term scenarios for the future emission reduction potentials in the iron and steel sector. The main focus of the project is to examine the impacts of carbon reduction options in the U.S. iron and steel sector under a set of selected scenarios. In order to advance the understanding of carbon emission reduction potential on the national and global scales, and to evaluate the regional impacts of potential U.S. mitigation strategies (e.g., commodity and carbon trading), we also included and examined the carbon reduction scenarios in China’smore » and India’s iron and steel sectors in this project. For this purpose, a new bottom-up energy modeling framework, the Industrial Sector Energy Efficiency Modeling (ISEEM), (Karali et al. 2012) was used to provide detailed annual projections starting from 2010 through 2050. We used the ISEEM modeling framework to carry out detailed analysis, on a country-by-country basis, for the U.S., China’s, and India’s iron and steel sectors. The ISEEM model applicable to iron and steel section, called ISEEM-IS, is developed to estimate and evaluate carbon emissions scenarios under several alternative mitigation options - including policies (e.g., carbon caps), commodity trading, and carbon trading. The projections will help us to better understand emission reduction potentials with technological and economic implications. The database for input of ISEEM-IS model consists of data and information compiled from various resources such as World Steel Association (WSA), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), China Steel Year Books, India Bureau of Mines (IBM), Energy Information Administration (EIA), and recent LBNL studies on bottom-up techno-economic analysis of energy efficiency measures in the iron and steel sector of the U.S., China, and India, including long-term steel production in China. In the ISEEM-IS model, production technology and manufacturing details are represented, in addition to the extensive data compiled from recent studies on bottom-up representation of efficiency measures for the sector. We also defined various mitigation scenarios including long-term production trends to project country-specific production, energy use, trading, carbon emissions, and costs of mitigation. Such analyses can provide useful information to assist policy-makers when considering and shaping future emissions mitigation strategies and policies. The technical objective is to analyze the costs of production and CO 2 emission reduction in the U.S, China, and India’s iron and steel sectors under different emission reduction scenarios, using the ISEEM-IS as a cost optimization model. The scenarios included in this project correspond to various CO 2 emission reduction targets for the iron and steel sector under different strategies such as simple CO 2 emission caps (e.g., specific reduction goals), emission reduction via commodity trading, and emission reduction via carbon trading.« less