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Simultaneously mitigating near-term climate change and improving human health and food security

Tropospheric ozone and black carbon (BC) contribute to both degraded air quality and global warming. The authors considered ~400 emission control measures to reduce these pollutants by using current technology and experience. They identified 14 measures targeting methane and BC emissions that reduce projected global mean warming by ~0.5°C by 2050.

Johan C.I. Kuylenstierna, Lisa Emberson, Kevin Hicks / Published on 13 January 2012

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Shindell, D., J.C.I. Kuylenstierna, E. Vignati, R. van Dingenen, M. Amann, Z. Klimont, S.C. Anenberg, N. Muller, G. Janssens-Maenhout, F. Raes, J. Schwartz, G. Faluvegi, L. Pozzoli, K. Kupiainen, L. Höglund-Isaksson, L. Emberson, D. Streets, V. Raman (2012). Simultaneously mitigating near-term climate change and improving human health and food security. Science 335:6065 (13 January 2012), 183-189.

This strategy avoids 0.7 to 4.7 million annual premature deaths from outdoor air pollution and increases annual crop yields by 30 to 135 million metric tons due to ozone reductions in 2030 and beyond. Benefits of methane emissions reductions are valued at USD700 to USD5000 per metric ton, which is well above typical marginal abatement costs (less than USD250). The selected controls target different sources and influence climate on shorter time scales than those of carbon dioxide reduction measures. Implementing both substantially reduces the risks of crossing the 2°C threshold.

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SEI authors

Johan C.I. Kuylenstierna

Reader / Research Leader

SEI York

Lisa Emberson
Lisa Emberson

SEI Affiliated Researcher

SEI York

Kevin Hicks

Senior Research Fellow

SEI York

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