The SEARCH Center

The SEARCH Center: Solutions for Energy, Air, Climate and Health

Website :


Michelle Bell, (Yale University)

Ben Hobbs, (Johns Hopkins) 


Yale (New Haven, CT), Johns Hopkins (Baltimore, MD), NC State (Raleigh, NC), Stanford (Stanford, CA), Northeastern (Boston, MA), University of Chicago (Chicago, IL), Pacific NW National Laboratory (Richland, WA), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI), Centers for Disease Control NCEH/ATSDR (Atlanta, GA)


Our main Objective is to investigate emerging energy transitions in the U.S. and resulting air pollution and health outcomes through state-of-the-science modeling and measurements to characterize factors contributing to emissions, air quality and health. We will estimate how these factors affect regional and local differences in air pollution and health today and under global change and will quantify the impacts of key modifiable factors on air quality and health and associated changes under current and future conditions. We hypothesize that pending U.S. energy transitions will profoundly impact air quality and health.

  • Project 1 estimates how energy transitions in the U.S. affect emissions of air pollutants and how modifiable factors influence regional emissions, using state-of-the-art energy/emissions modeling, including critical feedbacks within the energy system. A broader set of emissions, such as from manufacture of energy technologies, will be estimated through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
  • Project 2 assesses ambient levels and personal exposures of pollution corresponding to real-world energy transitions in a case study city, by developing novel highresolution monitors and considering modifiable factors, such as commuting patterns.
  • Project 3 uses advanced ensemble on-line coupled climate-air quality models to estimate ambient concentrations under energy transitions and diverse global change scenarios, and quantifies how modifiable factors contribute to regional differences. Project 3 also improves characterization of multipollutants’ spatio-temporal variability through novel bias reduction, uncertainty quantification, and satellite data.
  • Project 4 estimates health impacts of energy transitions, and incorporates epidemiological analysis of under-studied modifiable factors. Project 4 also estimates climate change impacts of emissions from energy scenarios. Global change modeling (Project 3) will be used to estimate how all Projects’ results are affected by future conditions.
Expected results 

SEARCH will produce detailed estimates of the health consequences and air quality conditions under diverse scenarios that integrate regional impacts of energy transitions, climate change, land use, and other modifiable factors. The integrated research projects address all four research questions in the RFA. Results will provide scientific evidence on how energy choices, climate policy, and other considerations can impact air pollution and health. The research framework will provide the basis for future synthesis of energy, air pollution, climate, and health and their critical linkages for other integrated policy strategies and updated scientific findings. SEARCH will have far-reaching impact by bridging multiple disciplines related to energy, climate, air, and health systems.

Funding opportunity title and number

Air, Climate, and Energy (ACE) Centers: Science Supporting Solutions, EPA-G2014-STAR-J1

This website was developed under Assistance Agreement No. RD83587101 awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to Yale University. It has not been formally reviewed by EPA. The views expressed on this website are solely those of The SEARCH Center and do not necessarily reflect those of the Agency. EPA does not endorse any products or commercial services mentioned within this website.