Air Pollution as a Climate Forcing: A Workshop

Day 4 Presentations

New York Climate and Health Project Staff: Modeling Heat and Air Quality Impacts of Changing Urban Land Uses and Climate

Investigators: Patrick L. Kinney*, Christopher Small*, William D. Solecki+, Roni Avissar°, Christian Hogrefe±, Michael Ku-, Kevin Civerolo-, Cynthia Rosenzweig§, David Werth°, Tracey Holloway*
Staff: Joyce E. Rosenthal; Kim Knowlton; Anjali Puri

* Columbia University*
+ Montclair State University
° Duke University
± State University of NY at Albany
- NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
§ NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Objectives. Heat waves and elevated concentrations of ozone and fine particles represent two significant current public health stressors in the New York metropolitan area. Both of these stressors may be impacted by future changes in the global climate as well as continued expansion of human-dominated land uses in the region. To date, there has been little effort to link climate change and land use/land cover (LU/LC) models in assessments of potential future impacts of heat stress and air quality.

Our study will link human dimension and natural sciences models describing the behaviors of these systems to yield improved tools for assessing the future public health impacts of climate change in the context of existing environmental stressors. The model will be applied to the 31 county NY metropolitan east coast (MEC) region. The following questions will be addressed:

  1. What changes in the frequency and severity of extreme heat events are likely to occur over the next 80 years due to a range of possible scenarios of LU/LC and climate change in the MEC region?
  2. How might the frequency and severity of episodic concentrations of ozone (O3) and airborne particulate matter smaller than 2.5 µm in diameter
  3. (PM2.5) change over the next 80 years due to a range of possible scenarios of land use and climate change in the metropolitan region?
  4. What is the range of possible human health impacts of these changes in the MEC region?
  5. How might projected future human exposures and responses to heat stress and air quality differ as a function of socio-economic status and race/ethnicity across the MEC region?
Flow chart of project interactions

Link models for global and regional climate, land use and cover, and air quality... to examine the potential public health impacts of heat and air pollution under alternative scenarios of climate change and regional land use in the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s in the NYC metropolitan region.

Approach. An integrated model will be developed linking models for LU/LC, global climate change, regional climate change, atmospheric chemistry and pollution transport, and the impacts of heat stress and air quality on public health. Four scenarios of LU/LC change and two global climate scenarios (run with the GISS GCM) will be analyzed. Impacts will be examined during the decades of the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s.

Expected Results. The research will provide improved tools for integrated assessments of future public health risks due to heat and air quality changes driven by climate change/variability and changes in land use. In addition, the research will lead to a better understanding of the driving forces behind long-term environmental changes, and the role played by socio-economic and demographic factors in the resulting human impacts.

Workshop Homepage * Background
Summaries: Overview, Gases, Aerosols, Tech., Health, Agri./Eco.
Abstracts: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5 * Participants