Climate and health impacts of US emissions reductions consistent with 2 °C
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© 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. An emissions trajectory for the US consistent with 2 °C warming would require marked societal changes, making it crucial to understand the associated benefits. Previous studies have examined technological potentials and implementation costs and public health benefits have been quantified for less-aggressive potential emissions-reduction policies (for example, refs,), but researchers have not yet fully explored the multiple benefits of reductions consistent with 2 °C. We examine the impacts of such highly ambitious scenarios for clean energy and vehicles. US transportation emissions reductions avoid ∼0.03 °C global warming in 2030 (0.15 °C in 2100), whereas energy emissions reductions avoid ∼0.05-0.07 °C 2030 warming (∼0.25 °C in 2100). Nationally, however, clean energy policies produce climate disbenefits including warmer summers (although these would be eliminated by the remote effects of similar policies if they were undertaken elsewhere). The policies also greatly reduce damaging ambient particulate matter and ozone. By 2030, clean energy policies could prevent ∼175,000 premature deaths, with ∼22,000 (11,000-96,000; 95% confidence) fewer annually thereafter, whereas clean transportation could prevent ∼120,000 premature deaths and ∼14,000 (9,000-52,000) annually thereafter. Near-term national benefits are valued at ∼US$250 billion (140 billion to 1,050 billion) per year, which is likely to exceed implementation costs. Including longer-term, worldwide climate impacts, benefits roughly quintuple, becoming ∼5-10 times larger than estimated implementation costs. Achieving the benefits, however, would require both larger and broader emissions reductions than those in current legislation or regulations.
SubjectScience & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1038/nclimate2935
Publication InfoShindell, DT; Lee, Y; & Faluvegi, G (2016). Climate and health impacts of US emissions reductions consistent with 2 °C. Nature Climate Change, 6(5). pp. 503-507. 10.1038/nclimate2935. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/17535.
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Nicholas Distinguished Professor of Earth Science
Drew Shindell is Nicholas Professor of Earth Science at Duke University. From 1995 to 2014 he was at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City and taught at Columbia University. He earned his Bachelor's at UC Berkeley and PhD at Stony Brook University, both in Physics. He studies climate change, air quality, and links between science and policy. He has been an author on >250 peer-reviewed publications, received awards from Scientific American, NASA, the NSF and the EPA,
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