Articles | Volume 10, issue 23
Research article
09 Dec 2010
Research article |  | 09 Dec 2010

Present and future impact of aircraft, road traffic and shipping emissions on global tropospheric ozone

B. Koffi, S. Szopa, A. Cozic, D. Hauglustaine, and P. van Velthoven

Abstract. In this study, the LMDz-INCA climate-chemistry model and up-to-date global emission inventories are used to investigate the "present" (2000) and future (2050) impacts of transport emissions (road traffic, shipping and aircraft) on global tropospheric ozone. For the first time, both impacts of emissions and climate changes on transport-induced ozone are investigated. The 2000 transport emissions are shown to mainly affect ozone in the Northern Hemisphere, with a maximum increase of the tropospheric column of up to 5 DU, from the South-eastern US to Central Europe. The impact is dominated by road traffic in the middle and upper troposphere, North of 40° S, and by shipping in the northern lower troposphere, over oceanic regions. A strong reduction of road emissions and a moderate (B1 scenario) to high (A1B scenario) increase of the ship and aircraft emissions are projected by the year 2050. As a consequence, LMDz-INCA simulations predict a drastic decrease in the impact of road emissions, whereas aviation would become the major transport perturbation on tropospheric ozone, even in the case of a very optimistic aircraft mitigation scenario. The A1B emission scenario leads to an increase of the impact of transport on zonal mean ozone concentrations in 2050 by up to +30% and +50%, in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, respectively. Despite a similar total amount of global NOx emissions by the various transport sectors compared to 2000, the overall impact on the tropospheric ozone column is increased everywhere in 2050, due to a sectoral shift in the emissions of the respective transport modes. On the opposite, the B1 mitigation scenario leads to a significant reduction (by roughly 50%) of the ozone perturbation throughout the troposphere compared to 2000.

Considering climate change, and according to scenario A1B, a decrease of the O3 tropospheric burden is simulated by 2050 due to climate change (−1.2%), whereas an increase of ozone of up to 2% is calculated in the upper troposphere in the inter-tropical zone, due to enhanced lightning activity. A global impact of similar magnitude is simulated for the transport-induced ozone burden perturbation (−1.6%). As a result, the future increase in global ozone due to changes in anthropogenic emissions is lowered by 12% and by 4%, for the background and the transport-induced ozone, respectively. However, positive and negative climate effects are obtained on ozone, depending on the season, region and altitude, with an increase of the transport-induced ozone perturbation (+0.4 DU) in the already most affected area of Northern Hemisphere.

Final-revised paper