The Role of Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases and Aerosols in Climate Mitigation
Forcing agents other than carbon dioxide, such as methane, nitrous oxide, halocarbons, and perhaps aerosol particles, may play a major role in miti-gating climate change. Of these agents, methane is the most important greenhouse gas and has substantial mitigation potential. The role of black and organic carbon aerosols has attracted increasing interest and we ex-plicitly include these carbonaceous aerosols in our calculations. This paper analyzes the potential role of different forcing agents in reducing future climate forcing in a multi-gas, integrated assessment model in which mitigation options compete and interact. Our framework in-cludes all of the important atmospheric forcing agents: carbon diox-ide, methane, nitrous oxide, halocarbons, sulfur dioxide, and carbona-ceous aerosols along with an array of potential mitigation options. Through an integrated analysis of all available options we present a realistic portrait of the potential role of these forcing agents in limiting future climate change.