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Title: Impact of changes in anthropogenic air pollutants on particulate air quality and the attributable burden of disease
Author: Butt, Edward William
ISNI:       0000 0004 7660 7925
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2018
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Anthropogenic primary aerosol and aerosol precursor emissions have undergone considerable regional changes over the last 50 years. Reduced anthropogenic emissions across high-income regions, in part due to the implementation of air quality and emission control regulations, have coincided with large economic-related emission growth across large parts of the developing world. These emission changes have undoubtedly led to regional changes in ambient PM2.5 concentrations and have affected human health. The global composition climate model, HadGEM3-UKCA, was used to simulate and evaluate regional changes in ambient PM2.5 concentrations and human health effects over the period 1960 to 2009. Dominated by regional increases across China and India, global simulated population-weighted PM2.5 concentrations was estimated to have increased by 37.5% over the period 1960 to 2009, despite declines across North America and Western Europe. As a result, mortality attributable to long-term PM2.5 exposure is estimated to have increased by 89% to 124% over the same period, which were driven largely by demographic transitions, and to a lesser extent by regional PM2.5 changes. Understanding the historical changes in ambient PM2.5 and their associated effects on human health is not only important for evaluating past efforts, but is also vital for crafting future air quality strategies. The combustion of residential solid-fuels for cooking and space heating contributes a large proportion to the global burden of primary aerosol emissions in the presentday, with potentially large impacts on ambient air quality, health and the climate. Using a global chemistry-transport model (TOMCAT-GLOMAP), present-day emissions from residential combustion activities were estimated to contribute to between 22% to 33% and 12% to 32% of the global annual mean burden of black carbon (BC) and organic aerosol respectively. In addition, residential emissions were estimated to contribute to regional annual mean surface PM2.5 concentrations of between 15% to > 40%, particularly across low and middle income regions, resulting in an estimated preventable human mortality burden of between 315,000 to 516,600 (if emissions were removed). Using an offline radiative transfer model, residential emissions were estimated to exert a global annual mean direct radiative effect (DRE) of between -66 and +21 mW m-2 and a global first aerosol indirect effect (AIE) of between -52 and -16 mW m-2. Uncertainties in properties of residential combustion aerosol contributed to a wide range of simulated radiative effects, which makes quantifying the magnitude of their radiative effects difficult. Understanding the present-day impacts from this emission source is an important first step in identifying potential benefits of emission control measures, such as the use of clean cookstoves or cleaner fuels. Understanding to what extent the widespread near-term implementation of clean residential combustion technologies (e.g., clean cookstoves) can avoid ambient air quality and associated health impacts is important for reviewing options for air quality management strategies. Understanding such measures in the context of future changes in other anthropogenic emissions is also important. Using a global chemistry-transport model (TOMCAT-GLOMAP), the widespread use of clean residential combustion technologies was estimated to avoid 4.9 μg m-3 of populationweighted PM2.5 concentrations in 2050 globally, resulting in 0.34 [0.28-0.4] million avoided mortalities or 20% of the maximum global preventable mortality. It is expected that low-income regions of Sub-Saharan Africa will gain the most, where half to two thirds of the maximum avoidable PM2.5 and mortality, can be attributed to residential emission control technologies alone. In these regions, the use of clean residential combustion technologies could provide an effective measure for tackling poor air quality and public health.
Supervisor: Spracklen, Dominick ; Forster, Piers ; Sallu, Susannah Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available