Oslo, Norway – Transport emissions will triple or quadruple global warming within the next 40 years, possibly contributing to 20 per cent of total man-made warming by the 22nd century, according to researchers at the Centre for International Climate and Environment Research (CICERO) in Norway.

According to data released by researchers, transport was responsible for around 10 per cent of the total net man-made warming nearly a decade ago. Topping the list was carbon dioxide (CO2), followed by tropospheric ozone (O3). Based on three out of four scenarios, the researchers said that transport will generate 15 per cent of the total man-made global warming in 2050, and right before the 22nd century, may reach 20 per cent. Emissions will also rise in other sectors.

“More travelling and international trade drive the emission increase,” said Jan Fuglestvedt, director of research. “Road transport gives the largest contribution and will most likely continue to do so in the future.”

Ranked second in terms of highest warming effect is global aviation, with CO2, contrails and cirrus clouds playing a central role. However, researchers said that because these processes are more ambiguous than the CO2 effect, the climate effect from aviation is more uncertain than that from road transport. Aviation could be responsible for four per cent of global warming in the next 40 years. Shipping is primarily responsible for sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions, but new pending rules should reduce these emissions considerably.

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