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Modifying emissions scenario projections to account for the effects of COVID-19: Protocol for CovidMIP

Robin Lamboll, Chris D. Jones, Ragnhild Bieltvedt Skeie, Stephanie Fiedler, Bjørn Hallvard Samset, Nathan P. Gillett, Joeri Rogelj, Piers M. Forster

Lockdowns to avoid the spread of COVID-19 have created an unprecedented reduction in human emissions. While the country-level scale of emissions changes can be estimated in near real time, the more detailed, gridded emissions estimates that are required to run general circulation models (GCMs) of the climate will take longer to collect. In this paper we use recorded and projected country-and-sector activity levels to modify gridded predictions from the MESSAGE-GLOBIOM SSP2-4.5 scenario. We provide updated projections for concentrations of greenhouse gases, emissions fields for aerosols, and precursors and the ozone and optical properties that result from this. The code base to perform similar modifications to other scenarios is also provided. We outline the means by which these results may be used in a model intercomparison project (CovidMIP) to investigate the impact of national lockdown measures on climate, including regional temperature, precipitation, and circulation changes. This includes three strands: an assessment of short-term effects (5-year period) and of longer-term effects (30 years) and an investigation into the separate effects of changes in emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols. This last strand supports the possible attribution of observed changes in the climate system; hence these simulations will also form part of the Detection and Attribution Model Intercomparison Project (DAMIP).

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