Articles | Volume 15, issue 2
Research article
19 Jan 2015
Research article |  | 19 Jan 2015

The global impact of the transport sectors on atmospheric aerosol in 2030 – Part 1: Land transport and shipping

M. Righi, J. Hendricks, and R. Sausen

Abstract. Using the EMAC (ECHAM/MESSy Atmospheric Chemistry) global climate-chemistry model coupled to the aerosol module MADE (Modal Aerosol Dynamics model for Europe, adapted for global applications), we simulate the impact of land transport and shipping emissions on global atmospheric aerosol and climate in 2030. Future emissions of short-lived gas and aerosol species follow the four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) designed in support of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We compare the resulting 2030 land-transport- and shipping-induced aerosol concentrations to the ones obtained for the year 2000 in a previous study with the same model configuration. The simulations suggest that black carbon and aerosol nitrate are the most relevant pollutants from land transport in 2000 and 2030 and their impacts are characterized by very strong regional variations during this time period. Europe and North America experience a decrease in the land-transport-induced particle pollution, although in these regions this sector remains a major source of surface-level pollution in 2030 under all RCPs. In Southeast Asia, however, a significant increase is simulated, but in this region the surface-level pollution is still controlled by other sources than land transport. Shipping-induced air pollution is mostly due to aerosol sulfate and nitrate, which show opposite trends towards 2030. Sulfate is strongly reduced as a consequence of sulfur reduction policies in ship fuels in force since 2010, while nitrate tends to increase due to the excess of ammonia following the reduction in ammonium sulfate. The aerosol-induced climate impact of both sectors is dominated by aerosol-cloud effects and is projected to decrease between 2000 and 2030, nevertheless still contributing a significant radiative forcing to Earth's radiation budget.

Final-revised paper