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Transport impacts on atmosphere and climate: Metrics

Fuglestvedt, J.S. and Shine, K.P. and Berntsen, T. and Cook, J. and Lee, D.S. and Stenke, A. and Skeie, R. and Velders, G.J.M. and Waitz, I.A. (2010) Transport impacts on atmosphere and climate: Metrics. Atmospheric Environment, 44, pp. 4648-4677. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2009.04.044.

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Abstract

The transport sector emits a wide variety of gases and aerosols, with distinctly different characteristics which influence climate directly and indirectly via chemical and physical processes. Tools that allow these emissions to be placed on some kind of common scale in terms of their impact on climate have a number of possible uses such as: in agreements and emission trading schemes; when considering potential trade-offs between changes in emissions resulting from technological or operational developments; and/or for comparing the impact of different environmental impacts of transport activities. Many of the non-CO2 emissions from the transport sector are short-lived substances, not currently covered by the Kyoto Protocol. There are formidable difficulties in developing metrics and these are particularly acute for such short-lived species. One difficulty concerns the choice of an appropriate structure for the metric (which may depend on, for example, the design of any climate policy it is intended to serve) and the associated value judgements on the appropriate time periods to consider; these choices affect the perception of the relative importance of short- and long-lived species. A second difficulty is the quantification of input parameters (due to underlying uncertainty in atmospheric processes). In addition, for some transport-related emissions, the values of metrics (unlike the gases included in the Kyoto Protocol) depend on where and when the emissions are introduced into the atmosphere – both the regional distribution and, for aircraft, the distribution as a function of altitude, are important. In this assessment of such metrics, we present Global Warming Potentials (GWPs) as these have traditionally been used in the implementation of climate policy. We also present Global Temperature Change Potentials (GTPs) as an alternative metric, as this, or a similar metric may be more appropriate for use in some circumstances.We use radiative forcings and lifetimes from the literature to derive GWPs and GTPs for the main transport-related emissions, and discuss the uncertainties in these estimates. We find large variations in metric (GWP and GTP) values for NOx, mainly due to the dependence on location of emissions but also because of inter-model differences and differences in experimental design. For aerosols we give only global-mean values due to an inconsistent picture amongst available studies regarding regional dependence. The uncertainty in the presented metric values reflects the current state of understanding; the ranking of the various components with respect to our confidence in the given metric values is also given. While the focus is mostly on metrics for comparing the climate impact of emissions, many of the issues are equally relevant for stratospheric ozone depletion metrics, which are also discussed.

Document Type:Article
Title:Transport impacts on atmosphere and climate: Metrics
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Fuglestvedt, J.S.CICERO, Blindern, Oslo, N
Shine, K.P.Univ. of Reading, Reading , UK
Berntsen, T.CICERO, Blindern, Oslo, N
Cook, J.Univ. of Reading, Reading , UK
Lee, D.S.Manchester Metropolitan Univ.
Stenke, A.DLR
Skeie, R.CICERO, Blindern, Oslo, N
Velders, G.J.M.PBL, Bilthoven, NL
Waitz, I.A.Massachusetts Inst. of Technology, Cambridge, USA
Date:2010
Journal or Publication Title:Atmospheric Environment
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:44
DOI:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2009.04.044
Page Range:pp. 4648-4677
Publisher:Elsevier
Status:Published
Keywords:Transport; Climate change; Global warming potential; Global Temperature Change Potential; Radiative forcing
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Transport
HGF - Program Themes:Transport System
DLR - Research area:Transport
DLR - Program:V VS - Verkehrssystem
DLR - Research theme (Project):V - Umweltwirkungen des Verkehrs (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Atmospheric Dynamics
Deposited By: Dr.rer.nat. Michael Ponater
Deposited On:07 Jan 2011 14:06
Last Modified:12 Dec 2013 21:11

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