The contribution of transport emissions to ozone mixing ratios and methane lifetime in 2015 and 2050 in the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs)

Mertens, Mariano; Brinkop, Sabine; Graf, Phoebe; Grewe, Volker; Hendricks, Johannes; Jöckel, Patrick; Lanteri, Anna; Matthes, Sigrun; Rieger, Vanessa S.; Righi, Mattia; Thor, Robin N.

We quantify the contributions of emissions from the transport sector to tropospheric ozone and the hydroxyl radical (OH) by means of model simulations with a global chemistry-climate model equipped with a source attribution method. For the first time we applied a method which allows to quantify also contributions to OH which is invariant upon disaggregation or recombination and additive. Based on these quantified contributions, we analyse the ozone radiative forcings (RF) and methane lifetime reductions attributable to emissions from the transport sectors. The contributions were analysed for each transport sector separately and for 2015 as well as for 2050 under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) SSP1-1.9, SSP2-4.5, and SSP3-7.0. In line with previous publications using the source attribution approach, we quantify an ozone RF attributable to emissions from land transport, shipping, and aviation for the year 2015 of 121 mW m -2, 60 mW m -2, and 31 mW m -2, respectively. At the same time, we diagnose a relative reduction in methane lifetime due to transport emissions of 14.3 % (land transport), 8.5 % (shipping), and 3.8 % (aviation). These reductions are significantly larger as reported by previous studies due to the application of the source attribution method. Compared to 2015, only SSP1-1.9 shows a strong decrease in ozone RF and methane lifetime reduction attributable to the entire transport sector in 2050. For the projections SSP2-4.5, we find similar effects of the total transport sector as for 2015, while the effects in SSP3-7.0 increase compared to 2015. This small change of the effects for the two projections compared to 2015 is caused by two main factors. Firstly, aviation emissions are projected to increase in SSP2-4.5 (increase of 107 %) and SSP3-7.0 (+86 %) compared to 2015, resulting in a projected ozone RF of 55 mW m -2 (+78 %) and 50 mW m -2 (+61 %) for the year 2050 from aviation emissions. Secondly, the non-linear effects of atmospheric chemistry in polluted regions such as Europe and North America lead to rather small reductions in ozone and OH in response to emission reductions, especially from land transport emissions. In addition, the increase in emissions from land transport in other parts of the world, particularly in South Asia, leads to an increased contribution of ozone and OH. In particular, ozone formed by land transport emissions from South Asia causes a strong RF that partially offsets the reductions in Europe and North America. Moreover, our results show that besides the non-linear response, lack of international co-operations, as in the SSP3-7.0 projection, hinder mitigation of ground-level ozone.

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Mertens, Mariano / Brinkop, Sabine / Graf, Phoebe / et al: The contribution of transport emissions to ozone mixing ratios and methane lifetime in 2015 and 2050 in the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs). 2024. Copernicus Publications.

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