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GLOBAL IMPACTS OF AIR POLLUTION: Mercury, Ozone and Particulate Matter. Noelle Eckley Selin Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change Center for Global Change Science Massachusetts Institute of Technology MASS seminar 13 April 2009.

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global impacts of air pollution mercury ozone and particulate matter

GLOBAL IMPACTS OF AIR POLLUTION: Mercury, Ozone and Particulate Matter

Noelle Eckley SelinJoint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change

Center for Global Change Science

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MASS seminar

13 April 2009

Coauthors/collaborators:E.M. Sunderland (Harvard), R. Mason (U. Conn), C. Knightes (US EPA), S. Paltsev, J. M. Reilly, R. G. Prinn (MIT), H. Selin (Boston University), S. Wu (Michigan Tech)

from atmosphere to fish mercury rising
FROM ATMOSPHERE TO FISH: MERCURY RISING

Mercury deposition has increased by 300% since industrialization

Major anthropogenic source is stationary combustion (coal)

Atmospheric transport and deposition leads to high fish methylmercury

Ice core from Wyoming

[Schuster et al., ES&T 2002]

air pollution and climate linkages
AIR POLLUTION AND CLIMATE LINKAGES

Ozone, aerosols have climate impacts, and are emitted from some of the same sources as greenhouse gases

Ozone, fine particulates also have health impacts (cardiovascular/respiratory impacts, acute mortalities)

CO2, NOx, etc.

[IPCC, 2007]

Policies to reduce GHGs could have co-benefits for urban and regional air pollution (or not).

How can we understand and quantify these potential benefits?

conceptual framework for pollutant impacts
CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR POLLUTANT IMPACTS

Atmospheric modeling

Emissions of

NOx, VOCs, SO2, BC, OC, Hg,

GHGs

Concentrations of ozone, particulates

Hg deposition

Pollutant transport

Atmospheric chemistry

Climate interactions

Integrated models & tools

Population health impacts

Economic modeling

Economic activities and

Policy choices

Hospital visits

Mortalities (acute/chronic)

IQ deficits

Pollution controls

Technology changes

research questions outline
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: OUTLINE
  • How can we use coupled atmospheric and ecosystem models to assess the impacts of mercury pollution?
  • What are the potential future health impacts of air pollution at a global scale?
global biogeochemical cycle of mercury
GLOBAL BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLE OF MERCURY

[Selin et al. GBC 2008; Selin, Ann. Rev. Env. Res., 2009]

deposition patterns in the united states
DEPOSITION PATTERNS IN THE UNITED STATES

Highest Emission:

Ohio River Valley

Highest Deposition:

Florida/Gulf Coast

Why doesn’t the area of highest Hg(II) emission have the highest deposition?

GEOS-Chem captures magnitude and spatial variation of measured wet deposition

We can use the model to gain insights into deposition processes.

[Measurements: Mercury Deposition Network; Model: Selin & Jacob, AE 2008]

north american vs international deposition
NORTH AMERICAN VS. INTERNATIONAL DEPOSITION

Results from GEOS-Chem global land-ocean-atmosphere Hg model [Selin et al., 2007, 2008]

Up to 60% of deposition in Midwest/Northeast is from domestic sources

Florida has highest deposition in the U.S., but mostly from non-US sources

Policy implications: Reducing deposition in both Midwest and Southeast will require policy actions on multiple political scales (national and global)

[Selin & Jacob, AE 2008]

freshwater deposition and source attribution

9%

32%

23%

59%

11%

66%

FRESHWATER DEPOSITION AND SOURCE ATTRIBUTION

How do sources affect fish methylmercury, and on what timescales?

Northeast U.S.

Southeast U.S.

International

Anthropogenic

24.21 g m-2 y-1

34.08 g m-2 y-1

Pre-industrial + Historical

N. American

Anthropogenic

SERAFM: Lake model WASP7: River model WCS (MLM): Watershed loading BASS: Aquatic food web [Knightes et al., 2009]

Policy and Timescale Analysis

[Selin et al., EHP, submitted]

freshwater timescale analysis
FRESHWATER TIMESCALE ANALYSIS

Each ecosystem driven by present-day deposition for 40 years

Policy experiment: All Hg is “historical” at t=0. How is anthropogenic signal reflected in fish, and on what timescale?

Ecosystem A

Fish MeHg (ppm)

Same deposition,but different ecosystem dynamics lead to very different source attributions (and concentrations) over time (watershed role)

Ecosystem B

Note difference in scale!

Regional differences in deposition sources lead to different attributions in similar ecosystems

[Selin et al., EHP, submitted]

local exposure from freshwater fish 2 x 100 g fish meals week 60 kg person @ t 40 y
LOCAL EXPOSURE FROM FRESHWATER FISH 2 x 100 g fish meals/week (60 kg person) @ t=40 y

6.4

North American anthropogenic

International anthropogenic

Historical+Natural

WHO intake threshold

EPA Reference Dose

Ecosystem A

Ecosystem A

Ecosystem B

Ecosystem B

Southeast

Northeast

[Selin et al., EHP, submitted]

population wide exposure from marine fish
POPULATION-WIDE EXPOSURE FROM MARINE FISH

No mechanistic link (yet) from oceanic Hg concentration to fish methylmercury

Historical exposure could continue to increase, complicating policy decision-making

Different challenges on different scales (local to global)

Adaptation and mitigation necessary? (Learning lessons from other issue areas)

“current emissions” scenario

14-box ocean model: Sunderland and Mason, 2007

[Selin et al., EHP, submitted]

research questions outline14
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: OUTLINE
  • How can we use coupled atmospheric and ecosystem models to assess the impacts of mercury pollution?
  • What are the potential future health impacts of air pollution at a global scale?
mit eppa health effects model
MIT EPPA HEALTH EFFECTS MODEL

Emissions Prediction and Policy Analysis model: general equilibrium economic model

Concentration of O3, [particulates] (data, model):

Population-weighted concentration per global region

(16 regions)

Morbidity and mortality outcomes and costs, ozone (EU Extern-E, 2005)

Loss of labor, capital and equilibrium economic effects (2000-2100)

EPPA-HE US model: Matus et al., Climatic Change, 2008

population weighted ozone concentrations
POPULATION-WEIGHTED OZONE CONCENTRATIONS

Emissions: IPCC A1B scenario

[GEOS-Chem model: Wu et al, 2008; Selin et al. in prep]

changes in population weighted ozone
CHANGES IN POPULATION-WEIGHTED OZONE

Population-weighted ozone concentration by EPPA region, ppb

economic impacts 2000 billions
ECONOMIC IMPACTS ($2000, billions)

One-third of costs are from accumulated economic burden of previous concentrations!

economic analysis of hg exposure
ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF HG EXPOSURE
  • IQ deficits from mercury exposure [Axelrad, 2007] cost 2.5% of income per point lost [Salkever, 1995]
  • Calculate additional cost of US emissions for general population (marine) exposure beginning in 2000

Other estimates: $1.3b for US power plants alone (Trasande et al., 2005); $119m-4.9b (Rice et al. 2005)

[Selin et al., in prep.]

slide22

Concentrations

of Aerosols

Atmospheric Aerosol Model

7 Aerosol modes

advection, convection, mixing,

wet & dry deposition

AGCM:

NCAR CCM/CAM + CLM

Atmospheric circulation & state

clouds & precipitation,

radiation

Winds, T, H2O,

Precipitation

& Vertical Fluxes

MIT EPPA + Emission Processor

OGCM or SSTData

Emissions

A-O Exchanges

The MIT/NCAR

Interactive Aerosol-Climate Model

(Kim et al., 2008; Wang 2004, 2007; Ekman et al., 2004; Wilson et al., 2001; Barth et al., 2000;

Rasch et al., 2000; Mayer et al., 2000; Kiehl et al., 1998; Boville and Gent, 1998)

[Slide: C. Wang]

climate policies and co benefits for pm
CLIMATE POLICIES AND CO-BENEFITS FOR PM

Projected change in annual average PM2.5 (2050-2000) for reference EPPA emissions scenario

  • Policies to restrict CO2 also reduce BC, OC, SO2.
  • Scenario: 80% reduction in carbon dioxide in developed countries by 2050, 50% in large developing countries
    • 30% less SO2, decreased BC and OC
  • How does the economic benefit of these reductions compare with the cost of the climate actions? (~5 trillion/2050?)

g m-3

future research goals
FUTURE RESEARCH GOALS

Challenge: Understand the human impact on the transport and fate of pollutants in the environment

  • Arctic chemistry and climate: pathways of pollutant transport to the Arctic, including Hg, persistent organic pollutants, Br chemistry
  • Human impacts on biogeochemical cycles (C/Hg interactions, other metals and elements)
  • Air chemistry implications of future energy choices, e.g. biofuels