Global Air Quality and Climate Impacts of Mitigating Short-lived Climate Pollution in China

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Kandice Harper1, Nadine Unger1, Chris Heyes2, Gregor Kiesewetter2, Zbigniew Klimont2, Wolfgang Schoepp2 and Fabian Wagner2, (1)Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States, (2)IIASA International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria
China is a major emitter of harmful air pollutants, including the short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) and their precursors. Implementation of pollution control technologies provides a mechanism for simultaneously protecting human and ecosystem health and achieving near-term climate co-benefits; however, predicting the outcomes of technical and policy interventions is challenging because the SLCPs participate in both climate warming and cooling and share many common emission sources. Here, we present the results of a combined regional integrated assessment and global climate modeling study aimed at quantifying the near-term climate and air quality co-benefits of selective control of Chinese air pollution emissions. Results from IIASA’s Greenhouse Gas – Air Pollution Interactions and Synergies (GAINS) integrated assessment model indicate that methane emission reductions make up > 75% of possible CO2-equivalent emission reductions of the SLCPs and their precursors in China in 2030. A multi-pollutant emission reduction scenario incorporating the 2030 Chinese pollution control measures with the highest potential for future climate impact is applied to the NASA ModelE2 – Yale Interactive Terrestrial Biosphere (NASA ModelE2-YIBs) global carbon – chemistry – climate model to assess the regional and long-range impacts of Chinese SLCP mitigation measures. Using model simulations that incorporate dynamic methane emissions and photosynthesis-dependent isoprene emissions, we quantify the impacts of Chinese reductions of the short-lived air pollutants on radiative forcing and on surface ozone and particulate air pollution. Present-day modeled methane mole fractions are evaluated against SCIAMACHY methane columns and NOAA ESRL/GMD surface flask measurements.