Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
22 Mar 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Effects of atmospheric transport and trade on air pollution mortality in China
Hongyan Zhao1, Xin Li1, Qiang Zhang1, Xujia Jiang1,2, Jintai Lin3, Glen G. Peters4, Meng Li1, Guannan Geng1, Bo Zheng2, Hong Huo5, Lin Zhang3, Steven J. Davis6, and Kebin He1,2 1Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
2State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
3Laboratory for Climate and Ocean-Atmosphere Studies, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing, China
4Center for International Climate and Environmental Research–Oslo, N-0318 Oslo, Norway
5Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
6Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
Abstract. Air quality is a major environmental concern in China, where premature deaths due to air pollution exceed 1 million people per year in recent years. Here, using a novel coupling of economic, physical and epidemiological models, we estimate the premature mortality in seven regions of China related to emissions of PM2.5 and precursor gases in 2010 and show for the first time how the distribution of these deaths in China is determined by a combination of economic activities and physical transport of pollution in the atmosphere. We find that 33 % of China’s air pollution deaths in 2010 were caused by pollutants emitted in a different region of the country and transported in the atmosphere, especially from north to south and from east to west. Similarly, 38 % of deaths were related to goods and services consumed in a different region from where they were produced. For example, 36 % of the deaths number associated to emissions in Central region of China were caused by consumption in other regions. As a combined result from atmospheric transport and trade, 56 % of pollution deaths in China were related to consumption in a different region. Among these, 14 % of China’s pollution deaths were caused by international export. Our results indicate that multilateral and multi-stage cooperation under a regional sustainable development framework is in urgent need to mitigate air pollution and health impacts, and efforts to reduce the health impacts of air pollution in China should be prioritized according to the source and location of emissions, the type and economic value of the emitting activities, and the related patterns of consumption.

Citation: Zhao, H., Li, X., Zhang, Q., Jiang, X., Lin, J., Peters, G. G., Li, M., Geng, G., Zheng, B., Huo, H., Zhang, L., Davis, S. J., and He, K.: Effects of atmospheric transport and trade on air pollution mortality in China, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2017-263, in review, 2017.
Hongyan Zhao et al.
Hongyan Zhao et al.
Hongyan Zhao et al.


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