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A continued role of short-lived climate forcers under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways

Marianne Tronstad Lund, Borgar Aamaas, Camilla Weum Stjern, Zbigniew Klimont, Terje K. Berntsen, Bjørn Hallvard Samset

Mitigation of non-CO2 emissions plays a key role in meeting the Paris Agreement ambitions and sustainable development goals. Implementation of respective policies addressing these targets mainly occur at sectoral and regional levels, and designing efficient mitigation strategies therefore relies on detailed knowledge about the mix of emissions from individual sources and their subsequent climate impact. Here we present a comprehensive dataset of near- and long-term global temperature responses to emissions of CO2 and individual short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs) from 7 sectors and 13 regions – for both present-day emissions and their continued evolution as projected under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs). We demonstrate the key role of CO2 in driving both near- and long-term warming and highlight the importance of mitigating methane emissions from agriculture, waste management, and energy production as the primary strategy to further limit near-term warming. Due to high current emissions of cooling SLCFs, policies targeting end-of-pipe energy sector emissions may result in net added warming unless accompanied by simultaneous methane and/or CO2 reductions. We find that SLCFs are projected to play a continued role in many regions, particularly those including low- to medium-income countries, under most of the SSPs considered here. East Asia, North America, and Europe will remain the largest contributors to total net warming until 2100, regardless of scenario, while South Asia and Africa south of the Sahara overtake Europe by the end of the century in SSP3-7.0 and SSP5-8.5. Our dataset is made available in an accessible format, aimed also at decision makers, to support further assessment of the implications of policy implementation at the sectoral and regional scales.

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