Title: Strengthening Cooperation on Air Pollution Impacts in the Arctic and Beyond
Publisher: Internationl Global Atmospheric Chemistry Project
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC105645
URI: http://igacproject.org/
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Air pollution has a wide variety of impacts, affecting human health, ecosystems, and climate both near the source and far away. Over the last 10 years the Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution (TF HTAP) under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Long- range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) has worked with an international scientific network of experts from Europe, North America, and Asia to improve the understanding of the intercontinental transport of air pollution across the Northern Hemisphere, through systematic modelling intercomparisons, assessment of observational evidence and development of impact assessment methods. Although HTAP’s efforts cover the entire Northern Hemisphere, only some work has been performed to also evaluate impacts on the Arctic. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) is the Working Group of the Arctic Council that is responsible for monitoring and assessing the status of the Arctic region with respect to pollution and climate change issues. Over the past 25 years, the AMAP monitoring programme has documented pollution levels and trends, pathways and processes, and effects on ecosystems and humans. The results of this monitoring effort have formed the basis for a series of AMAP assessments prepared by independent groups of scientific experts. These assessments cover a range of air pollution issues including Acidification and Arctic haze, Mercury and other trace metals, Persistent Organic Pollutants, and most recently Short-lived Climate Forcers (Black Carbon and Ozone, and Methane). These scientific outreach products and policy-makers summaries typically also propose actions to reduce associated threats and are specifically developed to inform decision-makers of the Arctic Council, governments and other relevant international fora. During the first day of a recent workshop, hosted by the IASS in Potsdam, Germany, the TF HTAP and AMAP explored opportunities to strengthen their cooperation on future scientific work to assess the (human) health, eco- system, and climate impacts of air pollution. Among the topics for enhanced collaboration are new modelling efforts to support evaluation of mitigation strategies for mer- cury, persistent organic pollutants, and short-lived climate pollutants (including black carbon and methane). This modelling work will also incorporate dedicated scenario studies for Arctic development and impact studies. By working together, HTAP and AMAP can provide better understanding of processes and uncertainties, as well as information to international bodies responsible for devel- oping policy measures to exploit the benefits of mitigation strategies in the Arctic and outside. The second and third day of the workshop were dedicated to evaluate methodologies to better quantify impacts of air pollution on human health, ecosystems (including crops) and climate. Presentations given by representatives of variety of communities, including CCMI (climate modelling communities); health impacts (overview of GBD, WHO efforts) and the emission scenario communities (e.g. GAINS as well as SSPs) were informing on the possibilities of exchanging information between the various efforts, and to promote the use of joint methods for the variety of assessments foreseen in the coming years. Further information on HTAP and meeting presentations are available via www.htap.org.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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