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Aerosol Modeling, Climate Change and Air Pollution

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Thursday, 04 October 2018, 2:00

Thursday, October 4, 2018. 2:00PM. Aerosol Modeling, Climate Change and Air Pollution. Susanne Bauer, NASA. Sponsored by NOAA GFDL. More information here.


The presentation will give an introduction to the aerosol concept developed at NASA GISS including newest updates on simulating condensing and evaporating particles. The model will then be used to show two applications; Air Pollution and Climate Forcing. Air Pollution: The African continent continuously experiences extreme aerosol load conditions. Africa produces the world largest source of desert dust emissions, undergoes strong industrial growth, and produces approximately a third of the Earth’s biomass burning aerosol particles. Sub-Saharan biomass burning is driven by agricultural practices, such as burning fields and bushes in the post-harvest season for fertilization, land management and pest control. Thus these emissions are predominantly anthropogenic. Here we use global atmospheric composition, climate, and health models to simulate the chemical composition of the atmosphere and calculate the mortality rates for Africa by distinguishing between purely natural, industrial/domestic and biomass burning emissions. Our results of ~780,000 premature deaths point to the extensive health impacts of natural emissions in Saharan and West Africa, high mortality rate caused by industrialization in Nigeria and South Africa, and to a smaller extent by fire emissions. Nevertheless, 43,000 premature deaths in Africa are linked to biomass burning mainly driven by agriculture. Air quality related deaths in Africa rank within the top leading causes of death in Africa, more deadly than HIV/AIDS. Subtracting natural causes of pollution, anthropogenic pollution has similar mortality rates as Malaria. Recent trends in aerosol concentrations show that in many formerly polluted regions such as Europe or the US aerosol emissions have already decreased back to pre-1950 levels. How does this translate in climate forcing?

Location  NOAA GFDL, Smagorinsky Seminar Room, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ