Black carbon (BC) and tropospheric ozone (O3) are harmful air pollutants that also contribute to climate change. The emission of both will continue to negatively impact both human health and climate.
While our scientific understanding of how black carbon and tropospheric ozone affect climate and public health has significantly improved in recent years, the threat posed by these pollutants has catalysed a demand for knowledge and concrete action from governments, civil society, United Nations (UN) agencies and other stakeholders.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was requested to urgently provide science-based advice on actions to reduce the impact of these pollutants and the Integrated Assessment of Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone is the result. Its main findings are:
Background information on the Integrated Assessment
The assessment team examined policy responses, developing an outlook to 2070 illustrating the benefits of political decisions made today and the risks of delaying action for climate change, human health and crop yields over the next decades. Placing a premium on sound science and analysis, the Assessment was driven by four main policy-relevant questions:
In order to answer these questions, the assessment team determined that new analyses were needed. The Assessment therefore relies on published literature as much as possible and on new simulations by two independent climate-chemistry-aerosol models: one developed at the NASA-Goddard Institute of Space Studies (NASA-GISS) and another developed by the Max Plank Institute in Hamburg and implemented at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre. The specific measures and emission estimates for use in developing this assessment were selected using the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis' Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollution Interactions and Synergies (IIASA GAINS) model.
The Summary of this assessment for decision makers will be presented at the 26th session of the Governing Council / Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC/GMEF) of UNEP from 21-24 February 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya.
European Commission, Joint Research Centre
Elena Gonzalez Verdesoto: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile phone: +32 498 98 64 82
UNEP - United Nations Environment Programme
Volodymyr Demkine: Volodymyr.Demkine@unep.org
Division of Early Warning and Assessment
This news is related to the AAAS session:
Limiting Climate Change: Reducing Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone Precursors
Sunday, February 20, 2011: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM (room 101)
Drew Shindell, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
Limiting Near-Term Climate Change While Improving Human Well-Being
Teppei Yasunari, NASA Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center
Impacts of Black Carbon (BC) Pollution on Himalayan Glaciers
Markus Amann, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Win-Win and Win-No-Lose Control Measures for Black Carbon and Ozone
Frank Raes, European Commission, JRC Institute for Environment and Sustainability
Benefits of BC and Tropospheric Ozone Reduction Measures for Climate, Health, and Ecosystems
Erika Rosenthal, Earthjustice
Good Practice in Reducing Black Carbon Emissions at the Local Level
Martin Williams, King's College
Developing Integrated Air Pollution and Climate Change Policies
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