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Strong increase in mortality attributable to ozone pollution under a climate change and demographic scenario

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Long-term exposure to ambient ozone (O3) is associated with excess respiratory mortality. Pollution emissions, demographic, and climate changes are expected to drive future ozone-related mortality. Here, we assess global mortality attributable to ozone according to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) scenario applied in Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) models, projecting a temperature increase of about 3.6 °C by the end of the century. We estimated ozone-related mortality on a global scale up to 2090 following the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2019 approach, using bias-corrected simulations from three CMIP6 Earth System Models (ESMs) under the SSP3-7.0 emissions scenario. Based on the three ESMs simulations, global ozone-related mortality by 2090 will amount to 2.79 M [95% CI 0.97 M–5.23 M] to 3.12 M [95% CI 1.11 M–5.75 M] per year, approximately ninefold that of the 327 K [95% CI 103 K–652 K] deaths per year in 2000. Climate change alone may lead to an increase of ozone-related mortality in 2090 between 42 K [95% CI −37 K–122 K] and 217 K [95% CI 68 K–367 K] per year. Population growth and ageing are associated with an increase in global ozone-related mortality by a factor of 5.34, while the increase by ozone trends alone ranges between factors of 1.48 and 1.7. Ambient ozone pollution under the high-emissions SSP3-7.0 scenario is projected to become a significant human health risk factor. Yet, optimizing living conditions and healthcare standards worldwide to the optimal ones today (application of minimum baseline mortality rates) will help mitigate the adverse consequences associated with population growth and ageing, and ozone increases caused by pollution emissions and climate change.


Funder: Public Investment Program of Greece, General Secretary of Research and Technology/Ministry of Development and Investments

Funder: Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung; doi:

Funder: Met Office; doi:


excess mortality, population, human health, ozone, CMIP6, anthropogenic emissions, climate change

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IOP Publishing
European Commission (101056783, 821205)
Academy of Finland (337549)