05 Jun 2024
 | 05 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Modeling 2020 regulatory changes in international shipping emissions helps explain 2023 anomalous warming

Ilaria Quaglia and Daniele Visioni

Abstract. The summer of 2023 has seen an anomalous increase in temperatures even when considering the ongoing greenhouse-gases driven warming trend. Here we demonstrate that regulatory changes to sulfate emissions from international shipping routes, which resulted in a significant reduction in sulfate particulate released during international shipping starting on January 1 2020, have been a major contributing factor to the monthly surface temperature anomalies during the last year. We do this by including in Community Earth System Model (CESM2) simulations the appropriate changes to emission databases developed for the Climate Model Intercomparison Project version 6 (CMIP6). The aerosol termination effect simulated by the updated CESM2 simulations is consistent with observations of both radiative forcing and surface temperature, manifesting a similar delay as the one observed in observational datasets between the implementation of the emission changes and the anomalous increase in warming. Our findings highlight the importance of considering realistic near-future changes in short-lived climate forcers for future climate projections, such as for CMIP7, for an improved understanding and communication of short-term climatic changes.

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Ilaria Quaglia and Daniele Visioni

Status: open (until 17 Jul 2024)

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Ilaria Quaglia and Daniele Visioni
Ilaria Quaglia and Daniele Visioni


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Short summary
On January 1st 2020, international shipping vessels were required to substantially reduce the amount of particulate they emit to improve air quality. In this work we demonstrate how this regulatory change contributed to the anomalous warming observed in recent months using climate model simulations that include such a change. Future policies should also perhaps consider their impact on climate and that climate modelers should include those changes promptly in future modeling efforts.