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The global impact of the transport sectors on the atmospheric aerosol and the resulting climate effects under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs)

Righi, Mattia and Hendricks, Johannes and Brinkop, Sabine (2023) The global impact of the transport sectors on the atmospheric aerosol and the resulting climate effects under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs). Earth System Dynamics, 14 (4), pp. 835-859. Copernicus Publications. doi: 10.5194/esd-14-835-2023. ISSN 2190-4979.

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.5194/esd-14-835-2023


A global aerosol–climate model is applied to quantify the impact of the transport sectors (land transport, shipping, and aviation) on aerosol and climate. Global simulations are performed for the present day (2015), based on the emission inventory of the Climate Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6), and for near term (2030) and mid-term (2050) future projections, under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs). The results for the present day show that land transport emissions have a large impact on near-surface concentrations of black carbon and aerosol nitrate over the most populated areas of the globe, but with contrasting patterns in terms of relative contributions between developed and developing countries. In spite of the recently introduced regulations to limit the fuel sulfur content in the shipping sector, shipping emissions are still responsible for a considerable impact on aerosol sulfate near-surface concentrations, about 0.5 to 1 µg m−3 in the most travelled regions, with significant effects on continental air pollution and in the northern polar regions as well. Aviation impacts on aerosol mass are found to be quite small, of the order of a few nanograms per cubic metre, while this sector considerably affects particle number concentrations, contributing up to 20 %–30 % of the upper-tropospheric particle number concentration at the northern mid-latitudes. The transport-induced impacts on aerosol mass and number concentrations result in a present-day radiative forcing of −164, −145, and −64 mW m−2 for land transport, shipping, and aviation, respectively, with a dominating contribution by aerosol–cloud interactions. These forcings represent a marked offset to the CO2 warming from the transport sectors and are therefore very relevant for climate policy. The projections under the SSPs show that the impact of the transport sectors on aerosol and climate are generally consistent with the narratives underlying these scenarios: the lowest impacts of transport on both aerosol and climate are simulated under SSP1, especially for the land transport sector, while SSP3 is generally characterized by the largest effects. Notable exceptions to this picture, however, exist, as the emissions of other anthropogenic sectors also contribute to the overall aerosol concentrations and thus modulate the relevance of the transport sectors in the different scenarios, not always consistently with their underlying storyline. On a qualitative level, the results for the present day mostly confirm the findings of our previous assessment for the year 2000, which used a predecessor version of the same model and the CMIP5 emission data. Some important quantitative differences are found, which can mostly be ascribed to the improved representation of aerosol background concentrations in the present study.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/196848/
Document Type:Article
Title:The global impact of the transport sectors on the atmospheric aerosol and the resulting climate effects under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs)
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Righi, MattiaDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3827-5950UNSPECIFIED
Brinkop, SabineDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3167-203XUNSPECIFIED
Date:29 August 2023
Journal or Publication Title:Earth System Dynamics
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 835-859
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
Keywords:Verkehr, Landverkehr, Shifffahrt, Luftfahrt, Aerosole, Wolken, Klima, Modellierung
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 - DATAMOST - Daten & Modelle zur Mobilitätstransform
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Earth System Modelling
Deposited By: Righi, Dr. Mattia
Deposited On:30 Aug 2023 10:40
Last Modified:18 Oct 2023 15:29

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