Impacts of changes in North Atlantic atmospheric circulation on particulate matter and human health in Europe
Article first published online: 30 JUL 2013
©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 40, Issue 15, pages 4074–4080, 16 August 2013
How to Cite
2013), Impacts of changes in North Atlantic atmospheric circulation on particulate matter and human health in Europe, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 4074–4080, doi:10.1002/grl.50720., , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 28 AUG 2013
- Article first published online: 30 JUL 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 5 JUL 2013 11:16PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 26 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 6 MAY 2013
- human health;
- air pollution;
 In this study we use a global climate model to assess particulate matter (PM) variability induced by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) in Europe during winter and the potential impact on human health of a future shift in the NAO mean state. Our study shows that extreme NAO phases in the 1990s modulated most of the interannual variability of winter PM concentrations in several European countries. Increased PM concentrations as a result of a positive shift in the mean winter NAO of one standard deviation would lead to about 5500 additional premature deaths in Mediterranean countries, compared to the simulated average PM health impact for the year 2000. In central-northern Europe, instead, higher wind speed and increased PM removal by precipitation lead to negative PM concentration anomalies with associated health benefits. We suggest that the NAO index is a useful indicator for the role of interannual atmospheric variability on large-scale pollution-health impacts.