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Quantifying the Climate Impact of Global and European Transport Systems

More:  Institute 
Period: March 2005 till February 2010
Status: Completed

Institute  Top 
  • Transport & Mobility Leuven, more, partner

The main goal of QUANTIFY is to quantify the climate impact of global and European transport systems for the present situation and for several scenarios of future development. The climate impact of various transport modes (land surface, shipping, aviation) will be assessed, including those of long-lived greenhouse gases like CO2 and N2O, and in particular the effects of emissions of ozone precursors and particles, as well as of contrails and ship tracks. The project goal includes the provision of forecasts and other policy-relevant advice, which will be supplied to governments and to international assessments of climate change and ozone depletion, such as the IPCC reports (Kyoto Protocol) and WMO-UNEP ozone assessments (Montreal Protocol). Using significantly improved transport emission inventories, better evaluated and hence more reliable models, these new forecasts in QUANTIFY will represent a considerable improvement of current predictions. Long time scales are involved in the transport system and its effects on climate: Some transportation modes have long development and in-service times; some emissions have long residence times and the thermal inertia of the climate system is protracted. The impact of short-lived species, however, depends on location and time of the emissions. So several transport scenarios and potential mitigation options need to be assessed on a sound common basis to identify the most effective combination of short and long-term measures and to inform policymakers and industry. We aim to provide such guidance by focused field measurements, exploitation of existing data, a range of numerical models, and new policy-relevant metrics of climate change. To achieve the goal, several advances in our fundamental understanding of atmospheric processes will be required such as the mechanisms by which pollutants are transported from exhaust into the free atmosphere, the impact of pollutants on clouds and the role of absorbing aerosols.

In QUANTIFY, a total of 35 participants and 4 associated members from 16 European countries and the U.S.A. are collaborating. The research topics are organized in 8 closely linked subprojects. They focus on quantification of the impact of air, sea and land traffic on the global climate. Accompanying measurement campaigns with research aircraft are an innovative part of QUANTIFY. Further goals are the dissemination of results through a web portal with eLearning function, a summer school, and the organisation of an international conference.

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