Transport impacts on atmosphere and climate: Land transport

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung


  • Elmar Uherek - , Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (Autor:in)
  • Tomas Halenka - , Karlsuniversität Prag (Autor:in)
  • Jens Borken-Kleefeld - , Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) e.V. (Autor:in)
  • Yves Balkanski - , Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA) (Autor:in)
  • Terje Berntsen - , Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO) (Autor:in)
  • Carlos Borrego - , University of Aveiro (Autor:in)
  • Michael Gauss - , University of Oslo (Autor:in)
  • Peter Hoor - , Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (Autor:in)
  • Katarzyna Juda-Rezler - , Warsaw University of Technology (Autor:in)
  • Jos Lelieveld - , Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (Autor:in)
  • Dimitrios Melas - , Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Autor:in)
  • Kristin Rypdal - , Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO) (Autor:in)
  • Stephan Schmid - , Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) e.V. (Autor:in)


Emissions from land transport, and from road transport in particular, have significant impacts on the atmosphere and on climate change. This assessment gives an overview of past, present and future emissions from land transport, of their impacts on the atmospheric composition and air quality, on human health and climate change and on options for mitigation.In the past vehicle exhaust emission control has successfully reduced emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter. This contributed to improved air quality and reduced health impacts in industrialised countries. In developing countries however, pollutant emissions have been growing strongly, adversely affecting many populations. In addition, ozone and particulate matter change the radiative balance and hence contribute to global warming on shorter time scales. Latest knowledge on the magnitude of land transport's impact on global warming is reviewed here.In the future, road transport's emissions of these pollutants are expected to stagnate and then decrease globally. This will then help to improve the air quality notably in developing countries. On the contrary, emissions of carbon dioxide and of halocarbons from mobile air conditioners have been globally increasing and are further expected to grow. Consequently, road transport's impact on climate is gaining in importance. The expected efficiency improvements of vehicles and the introduction of biofuels will not be sufficient to offset the expected strong growth in both, passenger and freight transportation. Technical measures could offer a significant reduction potential, but strong interventions would be needed as markets do not initiate the necessary changes. Further reductions would need a resolute expansion of low-carbon fuels, a tripling of vehicle fuel efficiency and a stagnation in absolute transport volumes. Land transport will remain a key sector in climate change mitigation during the next decades.


Seiten (von - bis)4772-4816
FachzeitschriftAtmospheric Environment
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Dez. 2010
Extern publiziertJa

Externe IDs

ORCID /0000-0002-5465-8559/work/150883968



  • Air pollution, Climate impacts, Emission scenarios, Emissions, Health impacts, Mitigation scenarios, Mobile air conditioners, Radiative forcing, Transport: road, rail, inland shipping, Vehicle technologies