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Arctic shipping emissions inventories and future scenarios

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Author(s): J. J. Corbett | D. A. Lack | J. J. Winebrake | S. Harder | J. A. Silberman | M. Gold

Journal: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions
ISSN 1680-7367

Volume: 10;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 10271;
Date: 2010;
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ABSTRACT
The Arctic is a sensitive region in terms of climate change and a rich natural resource for global economic activity. Arctic shipping is an important contributor to the region's anthropogenic air emissions, including black carbon – a short-lived climate forcing pollutant especially effective in accelerating the melting of ice and snow. These emissions are projected to increase as declining sea ice coverage due to climate change allows for increased shipping activity in the Arctic. To understand the impacts of these increased emissions, scientists and modelers require high-resolution, geospatial emissions inventories that can be used for regional assessment modeling. This paper presents 5 km×5 km Arctic emissions inventories of important greenhouse gases, black carbon and other pollutants under existing and future (2050) scenarios that account for growth of shipping in the region, potential diversion traffic through emerging routes, and possible emissions control measures. Short-lived forcing of ~4.5 gigagrams of black carbon from Arctic shipping may increase climate forcing; a first-order calculation of global warming potential due to 2030 emissions in the high-growth scenario suggests that short-lived forcing of ~4.5 gigagrams of black carbon from Arctic shipping may increase climate forcing due to Arctic ships by at least 17% compared to warming from these vessels' CO2 emissions (~42 000 gigagrams). The paper also presents maximum feasible reduction scenarios for black carbon in particular. These emissions reduction scenarios will enable scientists and policymakers to evaluate the efficacy and benefits of technological controls for black carbon, and other pollutants from ships.
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