Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561
EBI, Kristie and MCGREGOR, Glenn. Climate change, tropospheric ozone and particulate matter, and health impacts. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2009, vol.14, n.6, pp. 2281-2293. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232009000600037.
We review how climate change could affect future concentrations of tropospheric ozone and particulate matter (PM), and what changing concentrations could mean for population health, as well as studies projecting the impacts of climate change on air quality and the impacts of these changes on morbidity/mortality. Climate change could affect local to regional air quality through changes in chemical reaction rates, boundary layer heights that affect vertical mixing of pollutants, and changes in synoptic airflow patterns that govern pollutant transport. Sources of uncertainty are the degree of future climate change, future emissions of air pollutants and their precursors, and how population vulnerability may change in the future. Given the uncertainties, projections suggest that climate change will increase concentrations of tropospheric ozone, at least in high-income countries when precursor emissions are held constant, increasing morbidity/mortality. There are few projections for low- and middle-income countries. The evidence is less robust for PM, because few studies have been conducted. More research is needed to better understand the possible impacts of climate change on air pollution-related health impacts.
Keywords : Air pollution; Climate change; Health impacts; Ozone; Particulate matter.