Assessment and economic valuation of air pollution impacts on human health over Europe and the United States as calculated by a multi-model ensemble in the framework of AQMEII3

Ulas Im*, Jørgen Brandt, Camilla Geels, Kaj Mantzius Hansen, Jesper Heile Christensen, Mikael Skou Andersen, Efisio Solazzo, Ioannis Kioutsioukis, Ummugulsum Alyuz, Alessandra Balzarini, Rocio Baro, Roberto Bellasio, Roberto Bianconi, Johannes Bieser, Augustin Colette, Gabriele Curci, Aidan Farrow, Johannes Flemming, Andrea Fraser, Pedro Jimenez-GuerreroNutthida Kitwiroon, Ciao Kai Liang, Uarporn Nopmongcol, Guido Pirovano, Luca Pozzoli, Marje Prank, Rebecca Rose, Ranjeet Sokhi, Paolo Tuccella, Alper Unal, Marta Garcia Vivanco, Jason West, Greg Yarwood, Christian Hogrefe, Stefano Galmarini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


The impact of air pollution on human health and the associated external costs in Europe and the United States (US) for the year 2010 are modeled by a multi-model ensemble of regional models in the frame of the third phase of the Air Quality Modelling Evaluation International Initiative (AQMEII3). The modeled surface concentrations of O3, CO, SO2 and PM2.5 are used as input to the Economic Valuation of Air Pollution (EVA) system to calculate the resulting health impacts and the associated external costs from each individual model. Along with a base case simulation, additional runs were performed introducing 20% anthropogenic emission reductions both globally and regionally in Europe, North America and east Asia, as defined by the second phase of the Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution (TF-HTAP2). Health impacts estimated by using concentration inputs from different chemistry-transport models (CTMs) to the EVA system can vary up to a factor of 3 in Europe (12 models) and the United States (3 models). In Europe, the multi-model mean total number of premature deaths (acute and chronic) is calculated to be 414000, while in the US, it is estimated to be 160000, in agreement with previous global and regional studies. The economic valuation of these health impacts is calculated to be EUR300billion and 145billion in Europe and the US, respectively. A subset of models that produce the smallest error compared to the surface observations at each time step against an all-model mean ensemble results in increase of health impacts by up to 30% in Europe, while in the US, the optimal ensemble mean led to a decrease in the calculated health impacts by ∼ 11%. A total of 54000 and 27500 premature deaths can be avoided by a 20% reduction of global anthropogenic emissions in Europe and the US, respectively. A 20% reduction of North American anthropogenic emissions avoids a total of ∼ 1000 premature deaths in Europe and 25000 total premature deaths in the US. A 20% decrease of anthropogenic emissions within the European source region avoids a total of 47000 premature deaths in Europe. Reducing the east Asian anthropogenic emissions by 20% avoids ∼ 2000 total premature deaths in the US. These results show that the domestic anthropogenic emissions make the largest impacts on premature deaths on a continental scale, while foreign sources make a minor contribution to adverse impacts of air pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5967-5989
Number of pages23
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Author(s).


Aarhus University gratefully acknowledges the NordicWelfAir project funded by NordForsk’s Nordic Programme on Health and Welfare (grant agreement no. 75007), the REEEM project funded by the H2020-LCE Research and Innovation Action (grant agreement no. 691739) and the Danish Centre for Environment and Energy (AU-DCE). The University of L’Aquila thanks the EuroMediterranean Center for Climate Research (CMCC) for providing the computational resources. The contribution of Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico (RSE) S.p.A to this work has been financed by the research fund for the Italian Electrical System under the contract agreement between RSE S.p.A. and the Ministry of Economic Development – General Directorate for Nuclear Energy, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in compliance with the decree of 8 March 2006.

FundersFunder number
Danish Centre for Environment and Energy
H2020-LCE Research and Innovation Action
Italian Electrical System
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme691739
Royal Society of Edinburgh
Directorate-General for Energy
Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico


    Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment and economic valuation of air pollution impacts on human health over Europe and the United States as calculated by a multi-model ensemble in the framework of AQMEII3'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this