A multi-model assessment of the Global Warming Potential of hydrogen

Maria Sand, Ragnhild bieltvedt Skeie, Marit Sandstad, Srinath Krishnan, Gunnar Myhre, Hannah Bryant, Richard Derwent, Didier Hauglustaine, Fabien Paulot, Michael Prather, David Stevenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

With increasing global interest in molecular hydrogen to replace fossil fuels, more attention is being paid to potential leakages of hydrogen into the atmosphere and its environmental consequences. Hydrogen is not directly a greenhouse gas, but its chemical reactions change the abundances of the greenhouse gases methane, ozone, and stratospheric water vapor, as well as aerosols. Here, we use a model ensemble of five global atmospheric chemistry models to estimate the 100-year time-horizon Global Warming Potential (GWP100) of hydrogen. We estimate a hydrogen GWP100 of 11.6 ± 2.8 (one standard deviation). The uncertainty range covers soil uptake, photochemical production of hydrogen, the lifetimes of hydrogen and methane, and the hydroxyl radical feedback on methane and hydrogen. The hydrogen-induced changes are robust across the different models. It will be important to keep hydrogen leakages at a minimum to accomplish the benefits of switching to a hydrogen economy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number203
JournalCommunications Earth & Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2023


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