Global climate forcing of aerosols embodied in international trade

Lin, Jintai, Tong, Dan, Davis, Steven, Ni, Ruijing, Tan, Xiaoxiao, Pan, Da, Zhao, Hongyan, Lu, Zifeng, Streets, David, Feng, Tong, Zhang, Qiang, Yan, Yingying, Hu, Yongyun, Li, Jing, Liu, Zhu, Jiang, Xujia, Geng, Guannan, He, Kebin, Huang, Yi and Guan, Dabo (2016) Global climate forcing of aerosols embodied in international trade. Nature Geoscience, 9. pp. 790-794. ISSN 1752-0894

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International trade separates regions consuming goods and services from regions where goods and related aerosol pollution are produced. Yet the role of trade in aerosol climate forcing attributed to different regions has never been quantified. Here, we contrast the direct radiative forcing of aerosols related to regions’ consumption of goods and services against the forcing due to emissions produced in each region. Aerosols assessed include black carbon, primary organic aerosol, and secondary inorganic aerosols, including sulfate, nitrate and ammonium. We find that global aerosol radiative forcing due to emissions produced in East Asia is much stronger than the forcing related to goods and services ultimately consumed in that region because of its large net export of emissions-intensive goods. The opposite is true for net importers such as Western Europe and North America: global radiative forcing related to consumption is much greater than the forcing due to emissions produced in these regions. Overall, trade is associated with a shift of radiative forcing from net importing to net exporting regions. Compared to greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, the short atmospheric lifetimes of aerosols cause large localized differences between consumption- and production-related radiative forcing. International efforts to reduce emissions in the exporting countries will help alleviate trade-related climate and health impacts of aerosols while lowering global emissions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: atmospheric science,attribution,climate change,environmental sciences,sdg 13 - climate action ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/climate_action
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Water Security Research Centre
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2016 11:00
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 07:31
DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2798


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