Ozone-related acute excess mortality projected to increase in the absence of climate and air quality controls consistent with the Paris Agreement

Document Type

Article (peer-reviewed)

Publication Date



Short-term exposure to ground-level ozone in cities is associated with increased mortality and is expected to worsen with climate and emission changes. However, no study has yet comprehensively assessed future ozone-related acute mortality across diverse geographic areas, various climate scenarios, and using CMIP6 multi-model ensembles, limiting our knowledge on future changes in global ozone-related acute mortality and our ability to design targeted health policies. Here, we combine CMIP6 simulations and epidemiological data from 406 cities in 20 countries or regions. We find that ozone-related deaths in 406 cities will increase by 45 to 6,200 deaths/year between 2010 and 2014 and between 2050 and 2054, with attributable fractions increasing in all climate scenarios (from 0.17% to 0.22% total deaths), except the single scenario consistent with the Paris Climate Agreement (declines from 0.17% to 0.15% total deaths). These findings stress the need for more stringent air quality regulations, as current standards in many countries are inadequate.