19 Sep 2023
 | 19 Sep 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Significant human health co-benefits of African emissions mitigation

Christopher David Wells, Matthew Kasoar, Majid Ezzati, and Apostolos Voulgarakis

Abstract. Future African aerosol emissions, and therefore air pollution levels and health outcomes, are uncertain. Here, the range in the future impacts of African emissions in the Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) scenarios is studied, using the Earth System Model UKESM1 along with human health concentration-response functions. Using present-day demographics, annual deaths attributable to ambient particulate matter are estimated to be lower by 150,000 under stronger African aerosol mitigation by 2090, while those attributable to O3 are lower by 15,000. The particulate matter health benefits are realised predominantly within Africa, with the O3-driven benefits being more widespread – though still concentrated in Africa – due to the longer atmospheric lifetime of O3. These results demonstrate the important health co-benefits from future emissions mitigation in Africa.

Christopher David Wells et al.

Status: open (until 31 Oct 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Christopher David Wells et al.

Christopher David Wells et al.


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Short summary
Human-driven emissions of air pollutants, mostly caused by burning fossil fuels, impact both the climate and human health. Millions of deaths each year are caused by air pollution globally, and the future trends are uncertain. Here, we use a global climate model to study the effect of African pollutant emissions on surface-level air pollution, and resultant impacts on human health, in several future emissions scenarios. We find much lower health impacts under cleaner, lower-emission futures.