China’s international trade and air pollution in the United States

Lin, Jintai, Pan, Da, Davis, Steven J., Zhang, Qiang, He, Kebin, Wang, Can, Streets, David G., Wuebbles, Donald J. and Guan, Dabo (2014) China’s international trade and air pollution in the United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 111 (5). pp. 1736-1741. ISSN 0027-8424

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Abstract

China is the world's largest emitter of anthropogenic air pollutants, and measurable amounts of Chinese pollution are transported via the atmosphere to other countries, including the United States. However, a large fraction of Chinese emissions is due to manufacture of goods for foreign consumption. Here, we analyze the impacts of trade-related Chinese air pollutant emissions on the global atmospheric environment, linking an economic-emission analysis and atmospheric chemical transport modeling. We find that in 2006, 36% of anthropogenic sulfur dioxide, 27% of nitrogen oxides, 22% of carbon monoxide, and 17% of black carbon emitted in China were associated with production of goods for export. For each of these pollutants, about 21% of export-related Chinese emissions were attributed to China-to-US export. Atmospheric modeling shows that transport of the export-related Chinese pollution contributed 3-10% of annual mean surface sulfate concentrations and 0.5-1.5% of ozone over the western United States in 2006. This Chinese pollution also resulted in one extra day or more of noncompliance with the US ozone standard in 2006 over the Los Angeles area and many regions in the eastern United States. On a daily basis, the export-related Chinese pollution contributed, at a maximum, 12-24% of sulfate concentrations over the western United States. As the United States outsourced manufacturing to China, sulfate pollution in 2006 increased in the western United States but decreased in the eastern United States, reflecting the competing effect between enhanced transport of Chinese pollution and reduced US emissions. Our findings are relevant to international efforts to reduce transboundary air pollution.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Freely available online through the PNAS open access option.
Uncontrolled Keywords: emission control,input-output analysis,international collaboration
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2015 22:47
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2020 00:14
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/53698
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1312860111

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