IMPAC²T – a new Young Investigator’s Group at DLR and Helmholtz Munich

The new Young Investigator’s Group IMPAC²T at DLR and Helmholtz Munich will apply the MECO(n) model system to investigate the impact of air pollution on human health and vegetation, considering climate change and the energy transition in transport. This will help to enable mobility under future climate conditions with the least possible impact on human health and the environment. IMPAC²T is funded by the FONA Initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The Young Investigator’s Group is a collaborative project between the Department of Earth System Modeling for Aeronautics, Space, Transport and Energy of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, under the leadership of Dr. Mariano Mertens, and the working group Environmental Risks of the Institute of Epidemiology of Helmholtz Munich, headed by Dr. Alexandra Schneider. These interdisciplinary teams combine expertise from chemistry-climate modeling with expertise in epidemiology 

In IMPAC²T, consistent projections of climate and air quality are performed using the MECO(n) model. Based on these projections, we will seek to improve our understanding of relevant atmospheric processes and their feedbacks on air quality in the context of climate change. In addition, trends in policy-relevant metrics of air pollutants and air temperature as well as ozone-induced crop yield loss will be investigated. West Africa, Europe, and Germany are considered. For Germany, a detailed epidemiological-biostatistical analysis is performed based on exposure data from the model and the NAKO health study, the largest German prospective cohort study. It will be analyzed whether and if so by how much the effects of air pollution on the prevalence and incidence of cardiovascular disease could be amplified in a future climate with concurrent high air temperatures. The results of IMPAC²T will be discussed with authorities. Together, mitigation measures to improve air quality in a changing climate will be defined, scientifically investigated within the project, and their impact quantified.

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