Articles | Volume 12, issue 23
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 11555–11572, 2012
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 11555–11572, 2012

Research article 04 Dec 2012

Research article | 04 Dec 2012

Distributions and climate effects of atmospheric aerosols from the preindustrial era to 2100 along Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) simulated using the global aerosol model SPRINTARS

T. Takemura T. Takemura
  • Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan

Abstract. Global distributions and associated climate effects of atmospheric aerosols were simulated using a global aerosol climate model, SPRINTARS, from 1850 to the present day and projected forward to 2100. Aerosol emission inventories used by the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) were applied to this study. Scenarios based on the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) were used for the future projection. Aerosol loading in the atmosphere has already peaked and is now reducing in Europe and North America. However, in Asia where rapid economic growth is ongoing, aerosol loading is estimated to reach a maximum in the first half of this century. Atmospheric aerosols originating from the burning of biomass have maintained high loadings throughout the 21st century in Africa, according to the RCPs. Evolution of the adjusted forcing by direct and indirect aerosol effects over time generally correspond to the aerosol loading. The probable future pathways of global mean forcing differ based on the aerosol direct effect for different RCPs. Because aerosol forcing will be close to the preindustrial level by the end of the 21st century for all RCPs despite the continuous increases in greenhouse gases, global warming will be accelerated with reduced aerosol negative forcing.

Final-revised paper