Impact of climate change on ozone induced mortality in Europe
B. Forsberg, H. Orru, C. Åström, C. Andersson, K. Ebi, J. Langner (Umea, Nörrköping, Sweden; Tartu, Estonia; Los Altos, United States Of America)
Ozone is a highly oxidative pollutant, associated with respiratory morbidity and mortality. All else being equal, ground-level ozone will increase as temperatures increase with climate change.
As a part of the Climate-TRAP project we used emission scenarios, models and epidemiological data to assess ozone-related health impacts under a changing climate.
European ozone concentrations were modelled at a grid size of 50x50 km using MATCH-RCA3. Projections from two climate models, ECHAM4 and HADLEY, were used, assuming greenhouse gas emission scenarios A2 and A1B. Four periods were compared: the baseline period was defined as 1961–1990, the current situation as 1990–2009, nearer future as 2021–2050 and further future as 2041–2060. The impact on mortality (short-term effect) was calculated for exposures above a daily maximum 8-hour concentrations of 70 μgm-3. We use a European-wide exposure-response function with country-specific baseline mortality.
Comparing the current situation with the baseline period, the largest increase in ozone-associated mortality due to climate change (∽4%) occurred in Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands and UK. Comparing the baseline period and the further future, the increase is projected to be biggest in Belgium, France, Spain and Portugal (10–14%) and the effect will be stronger for the A2 scenario. However, in Nordic and Baltic countries there will be a decrease in ozone-related mortality of the same magnitude.
The current study suggests that projected effects of climate change on ozone levels could differentially influence mortality and morbidity across Europe.