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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-416
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 08 Jun 2018

Research article | 08 Jun 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Impacts on cloud radiative effects induced by coexisting aerosols converted from international shipping and maritime DMS emissions

Qinjian Jin1, Benjamin S. Grandey2, Daniel Rothenberg1, Alexander Avramov1,a, and Chien Wang1,2 Qinjian Jin et al.
  • 1Center for Global Change Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  • 2Center for Environmental Sensing and Modelling, Singapore–MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, Singapore
  • anow at: Department of Environmental Science, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Abstract. International shipping emissions (ISE), particularly sulfur dioxide, can influence the global radiation budget by interacting with clouds and radiation after being oxidized into sulfate aerosols. A better understanding of the uncertainties in estimating the cloud radiative effect (CRE) of ISE is of great importance in climate science. Many international shipping tracks cover oceans with substantial natural dimethyl sulfide (DMS) emissions. The interplay between these two major aerosol sources on cloud radiative effects over vast oceanic regions with relatively low aerosol concentration is an intriguing yet poorly addressed issue confounding estimation of the cloud radiative effects of ISE. Using an Earth system model including two aerosol modules with different aerosol mixing configurations, we derive a significant global net CRE of ISE (−0.153Wm−2 with p=0.01 and standard error of 0.004Wm−2) when using emissions consistent with current ship emission regulations. This global net CRE would become much weaker and actually insignificant (−0.001Wm−2 with p=0.98 and standard error of 0.007Wm−2) if a more stringent regulation were adopted. We then reveal that the ISE-induced CRE would achieve a significant enhancement when lower DMS emission is prescribed in the simulations, owing to the sub-linear relationship between aerosol concentration and cloud response. In addition, this study also demonstrates that the representation of certain aerosol processes, such as mixing states, can influence the magnitude and pattern of the ISE-induced CRE. These findings suggest a re-evaluation of the ISE-induced CRE with consideration of DMS variability.

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Short summary
International shipping emissions (ISE) can influence the global radiation budget. Using an Earth system model, we derive a significant global cloud radiative effect (CRE) of ISE (−0.153 W m−2) when using current emissions. This CRE would become weaker (−0.001 W m−2) if a more stringent regulation were adopted. The CRE would achieve a significant enhancement when lower DMS emission is prescribed. These findings suggest a re-evaluation of the ISE-induced CRE with consideration of DMS variability.
International shipping emissions (ISE) can influence the global radiation budget. Using an Earth...
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