Aerosol distributions in Asia calculated over a 4-year period and constrained by satellite observations of aerosol optical depth (AOD) are presented. Vast regions in Asia that include >80% of the population have PM2.5 concentrations that exceed on an annual basis the WHO guideline of 10 μ g/m3, often by factors of 2 to 4. These high aerosol loadings also have important radiative effects, causing a significant dimming at the surface, and mask ∼45% of the warming by greenhouse gases. Black carbon (BC) concentrations are high throughout Asia, representing 5-10% of the total AOD, and contributing significantly to atmospheric warming (its warming potential is ∼55% of that due to CO2). PM levels and AODs in year 2030, estimated based on simulations that consider future changes in emissions, are used to explore opportunities for win - win strategies built upon addressing air quality and climate change together. It is found that in 2030 the PM2.5 levels in significant parts of Asia will increase and exacerbate health impacts; but the aerosols will have a larger masking effect on radiative forcing, due to a decrease in BC and an increase in SO2 emissions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry