Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Mar 14;103(11):3988-93. Epub 2006 Mar 6.

Global health benefits of mitigating ozone pollution with methane emission controls.

Author information

1
Department of Geosciences and Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program, Princeton University, Sayre Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.

Abstract

Methane (CH(4)) contributes to the growing global background concentration of tropospheric ozone (O(3)), an air pollutant associated with premature mortality. Methane and ozone are also important greenhouse gases. Reducing methane emissions therefore decreases surface ozone everywhere while slowing climate warming, but although methane mitigation has been considered to address climate change, it has not for air quality. Here we show that global decreases in surface ozone concentrations, due to methane mitigation, result in substantial and widespread decreases in premature human mortality. Reducing global anthropogenic methane emissions by 20% beginning in 2010 would decrease the average daily maximum 8-h surface ozone by approximately 1 part per billion by volume globally. By using epidemiologic ozone-mortality relationships, this ozone reduction is estimated to prevent approximately 30,000 premature all-cause mortalities globally in 2030, and approximately 370,000 between 2010 and 2030. If only cardiovascular and respiratory mortalities are considered, approximately 17,000 global mortalities can be avoided in 2030. The marginal cost-effectiveness of this 20% methane reduction is estimated to be approximately 420,000 US dollars per avoided mortality. If avoided mortalities are valued at 1 US dollars million each, the benefit is approximately 240 US dollars per tone of CH(4) ( approximately 12 US dollars per tone of CO(2) equivalent), which exceeds the marginal cost of the methane reduction. These estimated air pollution ancillary benefits of climate-motivated methane emission reductions are comparable with those estimated previously for CO(2). Methane mitigation offers a unique opportunity to improve air quality globally and can be a cost-effective component of international ozone management, bringing multiple benefits for air quality, public health, agriculture, climate, and energy.

PMID:
16537473
PMCID:
PMC1449633
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0600201103
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center