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The contribution of carbon dioxide emissions from the aviation sector to future climate change

Authors
  • TERRENOIRE, Etienne
  • Hauglustaine, Didier
  • Gasser, Thomas
  • Penanhoat, Olivier
Publication Date
Jul 31, 2019
Source
HAL-SHS
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown
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Abstract

The compact Earth system model OSCARv2.2 is used to assess the climate impact of present and future civil aviation carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The impact of aviation CO2 on future climate is quantified over the 1940–2050 period, extending some simulations to 2100 and using different aviation CO2 emission scenarios and two background Representative Concentrations Pathways (RCP2.6 and RCP6.0) for other emission sectors. Several aviation scenarios including weak to strong mitigation options are considered with emissions ranging from 386 MtCO2/year (Factor 2 scenario) to 2338 MtCO2/year (ICAO based scenario) in 2050. As a reference, in 2000, the calculated impact of aviation CO2 emissions is 9.1 ± 2 mK (0.8% of the total anthropogenic warming associated to fossil fuel emissions). In 2050, on a climate trajectory in line with the Paris Agreement limiting the global warming below 2 °C (RCP2.6), the impact of the aviation CO2 emissions ranges from 26 ± 2 mK (1.4% of the total anthropogenic warming associated to fossil fuel emissions) for an ambitious mitigation strategy scenario (Factor 2) to 39 ± 4 mK (2.0% of the total anthropogenic warming associated to fossil fuel emissions) for the least ambitious mitigation scenario of the study (ICAO based). On the longer term, if no significant emission mitigation is implemented for the aviation sector, the associated warming could further increase and reach a value of 99.5 mK ± 20 mK in 2100 (ICAO based), which corresponds to 5.2% of the total anthropogenic warming under RCP2.6. The contribution of CO2 is estimated to represent 36%–51% of the total aviation radiative forcing of climate including short-term climate forcers. However, due to its long residence time in the atmosphere, aviation CO2 will have a major contribution on decadal time scales. These additional short-terms forcers are subject to large uncertainties and will be analysed in forthcoming studies.

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