Return to different climate states by reducing sulphate aerosols under future CO2 concentrations

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It is generally believed that anthropogenic aerosols cool the atmosphere; therefore, they offset the global warming resulting from greenhouse gases to some extent. Reduction in sulphate, a primary anthropogenic aerosol, is necessary for mitigating air pollution, which causes atmospheric warming. Here, the changes in the surface air temperature under various anthropogenic emission amounts of sulphur dioxide (SO2), which is a precursor of sulphate aerosol, are simulated under both present and doubled carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations with a climate model. No previous studies have conducted explicit experiments to estimate the temperature changes due to individual short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs) in different climate states with atmosphere–ocean coupled models. The simulation results clearly show that reducing SO2 emissions at high CO2 concentrations will significantly enhance atmospheric warming in comparison with that under the present CO2 concentration. In the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, the temperature change that will occur when fuel SO2 emissions reach zero under a doubled CO2 concentration will be approximately 1.0 °C, while this value will be approximately 0.5 °C under the present state. This considerable difference can affect the discussion of the 1.5 °C/2 °C target in the Paris Agreement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21748
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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