Scientific achievements

Researchers in the Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program use the Greenhouse gas – Air pollution Interactions and Synergies (GAINS) model to provide a systems perspective on complex global problems. A variety of systems methods are used to identify concrete measures that yield multiple benefits for local, regional, and global policy objectives.

Adapted from: © Vítek Prchal | Dreamstime

Adapted from: © Vítek Prchal | Dreamstime

In 2015, MAG’s work proceeded along four central lines. First, the development of a new method to quantify the contributions from different emission sources at different spatial scales to health-relevant pollution exposure, specifically for developing countries. This work highlights the need to widen the scope beyond traditional pollution sources like energy combustion and transportation to waste management and agricultural practices. Second, MAG researchers highlighted the pivotal role of controlling agricultural ammonia emissions and nitrogen management for the reduction of ambient fine particulate matter, predominantly at large industrial agricultural enterprises.

In the third focus of the program, researchers explored the scope for deep reductions in non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions, highlighting previously underappreciated emissions from oil production and shale gas extraction. Finally, MAG also continued policy analyses to inform the negotiations between the European Parliament and the European Council (i.e., national governments of the member states) on the EU clean air policy proposal of the European Commission.

Sources of air pollution in developing countries

A new method developed by the Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program offers an unconventional perspective on the origin of harmful pollution, especially in urban areas in developing countries. The findings show that beyond vehicle emissions or household fuels, any (cost-) effective intervention strategy will need to addresses the socioeconomic complexities of a wide range of other economic sectors, not least agriculture. More

Non-CO2 gases and ambitious climate targets

In view of the global climate targets that were agreed in Paris in 2015, the Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program revisited the feasibility and economics of achieving deep cuts in non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions. This analysis revealed much higher emissions from global oil production and extended shale gas extraction than previously thought. More

Global air pollution

The Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program takes a unique systems perspective that integrates physical, social, economic, and policy aspects of air quality management. In 2015, the program introduced these aspects into numerous new policy and scientific initiatives that address the role of air quality management for improving human wellbeing and contribute to multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals. More

From hemispheric pollution to air quality in street canyons

The Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program has developed a new method that assigns particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) to emission sources at the different scales of origin. This work allowed the implications of the recent emission scandal on local air quality to be quantified. More

Nitrogen management and inequality among farmers

Modeling by the Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program has shown that efforts to reduce the fine particulate matter (PM2.5) precursor emissions will not deliver the expected drop in air pollution unless a reduction of agricultural ammonia (NH3) emissions is achieved. More

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Last edited: 25 February 2016

Further information



International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313