Clean air policies are key for successfully mitigating Arctic warming

Knut von Salzen*, Cynthia H. Whaley, Susan C. Anenberg, Rita Van Dingenen, Zbigniew Klimont, Mark G. Flanner, Rashed Mahmood, Stephen R. Arnold, Stephen Beagley, Rong You Chien, Jesper H. Christensen, Sabine Eckhardt, Annica M.L. Ekman, Nikolaos Evangeliou, Greg Faluvegi, Joshua S. Fu, Michael Gauss, Wanmin Gong, Jens L. Hjorth, Ulas ImSrinath Krishnan, Kaarle Kupiainen, Thomas Kühn, Joakim Langner, Kathy S. Law, Louis Marelle, Dirk Olivié, Tatsuo Onishi, Naga Oshima, Ville Veikko Paunu, Yiran Peng, David Plummer, Luca Pozzoli, Shilpa Rao, Jean Christophe Raut, Maria Sand, Julia Schmale, Michael Sigmond, Manu A. Thomas, Kostas Tsigaridis, Svetlana Tsyro, Steven T. Turnock, Minqi Wang, Barbara Winter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

A tighter integration of modeling frameworks for climate and air quality is urgently needed to assess the impacts of clean air policies on future Arctic and global climate. We combined a new model emulator and comprehensive emissions scenarios for air pollutants and greenhouse gases to assess climate and human health co-benefits of emissions reductions. Fossil fuel use is projected to rapidly decline in an increasingly sustainable world, resulting in far-reaching air quality benefits. Despite human health benefits, reductions in sulfur emissions in a more sustainable world could enhance Arctic warming by 0.8 °C in 2050 relative to the 1995–2014, thereby offsetting climate benefits of greenhouse gas reductions. Targeted and technically feasible emissions reduction opportunities exist for achieving simultaneous climate and human health co-benefits. It would be particularly beneficial to unlock a newly identified mitigation potential for carbon particulate matter, yielding Arctic climate benefits equivalent to those from carbon dioxide reductions by 2050.

Original languageEnglish
Article number222
JournalCommunications Earth & Environment
Volume3
Issue1
ISSN2662-4435
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

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