The doctoral dissertations of the former Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) and Aalto University Schools of Technology (CHEM, ELEC, ENG, SCI) published in electronic format are available in the electronic publications archive of Aalto University - Aaltodoc.

Estimation of Country Contributions to the Climate Change. Viewpoints of Radiative Forcing and Uncertainty of Emissions

Suvi Monni

Dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Science in Technology to be presented with due permission of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, for public examination and debate in Auditorium K216 at Helsinki University of Technology (Espoo, Finland) on the 27th of October, 2005, at 12 noon.

Overview in PDF format (ISBN 951-38-6666-1)   [2537 KB]
VTT Publications 577, ISSN 1455-0849

Dissertation is also available in print (ISBN 951-38-6665-3)
Copyright © 2005 VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
VTT Publications 577, ISSN 1235-0621


Global warming that occurs due to emissions from a country or a country group was studied from two different points of view. Firstly, warming effect caused by Finnish emissions from 1900 to 2100 was assessed using a model that describes removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere by pulse response functions, and calculates the radiative forcing caused by an increase in atmospheric concentration. Secondly, Finland's share of global emissions was assessed for the time period during which detailed greenhouse gas inventories were available, i.e. from 1990 to 2003, taking into account uncertainties in emission estimates. The uncertainty estimate was made using literature, measurement data and expert judgement on input parameter uncertainties. Stochastic simulation was used to combine the uncertainties. In addition, uncertainties in different emissions trading schemes were compared at EU level. Greenhouse gases covered by the study were those included in the Kyoto Protocol, i.e. carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). Sectors covered were energy, industry, transportation, agriculture and waste. LULUCF sectors (land-use, land use change and forestry) were covered more superficially.

Finnish greenhouse gas emissions in 2003 were 86 Tg CO2 eq (without LULUCF). According to the results, 95% confidence interval of this figure lies between 82 and 92 Tg CO2 eq. This represents a share of 0.2-0.3% of global emissions. In the same year, Finland's share of global population was 0.1% and share of global GDP 0.4%. The most important contributors to uncertainty were N2O emissions from agricultural soils, N2O from nitric acid production and CH4 from landfills. Inclusion of LULUCF categories in the inventory increased relative uncertainty of net emissions notably (emissions in 2003 were 68 Tg CO2 eq with a 95% confidence interval of 58 to 78 Tg CO2 eq).

According to the radiative forcing calculations, forcing caused by Finland will increase from 3 mWm-2 in 1990 to 6-11 mWm-2 by 2100, depending on emission reduction strategies applied, and technological development. In 1990 Finland's share of global radiative forcing was estimated at 0.18% and by 2100 it will decrease to 0.13%, due to increase in global emissions. The results revealed that Finland's share of radiative forcing was smaller than the share of emissions. This was due to Finland's relatively short emission history.

It was concluded that uncertainty in EU emissions trading scheme for CO2 (2005-2007) contains rather small uncertainties (±3% based on uncertainties in inventories), but the extension of emissions trading scheme to cover other sectors or gases is likely to increase the uncertainties (up to 21% in Kyoto emissions trading scheme).

Both radiative forcing and uncertainty assessment models developed in the thesis can be used in decision making, e.g. for comparing different emission reduction strategies and for planning of future climate commitments.

This thesis consists of an overview and of the following 4 publications:

  1. Monni, S., Korhonen, R. and Savolainen, I. 2003. Radiative forcing due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions from Finland: methods for estimating forcing of a country or an activity. Environmental Management, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 401-411.
  2. Monni, S., Syri, S. and Savolainen, I. 2004. Uncertainties in the Finnish greenhouse gas emission inventory. Environmental Science and Policy, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 87-98.
  3. Monni, S., Syri, S., Pipatti, R. and Savolainen, I. 2004. Comparison of uncertainty in different emission trading schemes. In: Proceedings of the International Workshop on Uncertainty in Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Verification, Compliance and Trading. September 24-25, 2004, Warsaw, Poland. Pp. 106-115. [Extended version of Workshop paper is to be published in Water, Air & Soil Pollution: Focus (WAFO)]. By permission
  4. Monni, S., Perälä, P. and Regina, K. (In press.). Uncertainty in agricultural CH4 and N2O emissions from Finland – possibilities to increase accuracy in emission estimates. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change.

Keywords: climate change, global warming, radiative forcing, emissions, greenhouse gases, estimation, modelling, emissions trading, emissions reduction

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© 2005 Helsinki University of Technology

Last update 2011-05-26