Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 11, 4913-4951, 2011
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Future emissions from oil, gas, and shipping activities in the Arctic
G. P. Peters1, T. B. Nilssen2, L. Lindholt3, M. S. Eide2, S. Glomsrød1,3, L. I. Eide2, and J. S. Fuglestvedt1
1Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO), PB 1129 Blindern, 0318 Oslo, Norway
2Det Norske Veritas, Veritasveien 1, 1322 Høvik, Norway
3Statistics Norway, Postboks 8131 Dep, 0033 Oslo, Norway

Abstract. The Arctic sea-ice is retreating faster than predicted by climate models and could become ice free during summer this century. The reduced sea-ice extent may effectively "unlock" the Arctic Ocean to increased human activities such as transit shipping and expanded oil and gas production. Travel time between Europe and the north Pacific Region can be reduced by up to 50% with low sea-ice levels and the use of this route could increase substantially as the sea-ice retreats. Oil and gas activities already occur in the Arctic region and given the large undiscovered petroleum resources increased activity could be expected with reduced sea-ice. We use a detailed global energy market model and a bottom-up shipping model with a sea-ice module to construct emission inventories of Arctic shipping and petroleum activities in 2030 and 2050. The emission inventories are on a 1× 1 degree grid and cover both short-lived pollutants and ozone pre-cursors (SO2, NOx, CO, NMVOC, BC, OC) and the long-lived greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O). We find rapid growth in transit shipping due to increased profitability with the shorter transit times compensating for increased costs in traversing areas of sea-ice. Oil and gas production remains relatively stable leading to reduced emissions from emission factor improvements. The location of oil and gas production moves into locations requiring more ship transport relative to pipeline transport, leading to rapid emissions growth from oil and gas transport via ship. Our emission inventories for the Arctic region will be used as input into chemical transport, radiative transfer, and climate models to quantify the role of Arctic activities in climate change compared to similar emissions occurring outside of the Arctic region.

Citation: Peters, G. P., Nilssen, T. B., Lindholt, L., Eide, M. S., Glomsrød, S., Eide, L. I., and Fuglestvedt, J. S.: Future emissions from oil, gas, and shipping activities in the Arctic, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 11, 4913-4951, doi:10.5194/acpd-11-4913-2011, 2011.
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