Nonlinear impacts of future anthropogenic aerosol emissions on Arctic warming

Dobricic S, Pozzoli L, Vignati E, Van Dingenen R, Wilson J, Russo S, & Klimont Z ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2630-198X (2019). Nonlinear impacts of future anthropogenic aerosol emissions on Arctic warming. Environmental Research Letters 14 (3): e034009. DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/aaf8ee.

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Abstract

Past reductions of anthropogenic aerosol concentrations in Europe and North America could have amplified Arctic warming. In the future the impact of air pollution policies may differ, because the major anthropogenic sources of atmospheric aerosols are increasingly located in Asia. In this study numerical experiments evaluating only direct aerosol effects on atmospheric temperatures indicate that, while reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions weaken Arctic warming, direct radiative forcing effects by reductions of anthropogenic aerosol concentrations, additional to those obtained by lower CO2 emissions, can either amplify or diminish it. Interactions between regionally modified radiation in Asia and internal climate variability may differently initiate and sustain atmospheric planetary waves propagating into the Arctic. In a nonlinear manner planetary waves may redistribute atmospheric and oceanic meridional heat fluxes at the high latitudes and either amplify or diminish Arctic warming in 2050. Lower CO2 concentrations might apparently contribute to reduce the interactions between the Arctic system and the lower latitudes, thus reducing the influence of strong air quality measures in Asia on the Arctic amplification of global warming. While past and present air pollution policies could have amplified Arctic warming, in the future the effects from atmospheric pollution reductions are less certain, depending on the future CO2 concentrations, and requiring improved simulations of changing aerosol concentrations and their interactions with clouds in Asia and the Arctic.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: air pollution; Arctic warming; climate change
Research Programs: Air Quality & Greenhouse Gases (AIR)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2019 06:00
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2019 06:00
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/15963

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