Total aerosol effect: forcing or radiative flux perturbation?

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Uncertainties in aerosol forcings, especially those associated with clouds, contribute to a large extent to uncertainties in the total anthropogenic forcing. The interaction of aerosols with clouds and radiation introduces feedbacks which can affect the rate of rain formation. Traditionally these feedbacks were not included in estimates of total aerosol forcing. Here we argue that they should be included because these feedbacks act quickly compared with the time scale of global warming. We show that for different forcing agents (aerosols and greenhouse gases) the radiative forcings as traditionally defined agree rather well with estimates from a method, here referred to ... continued below

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Lohmann, Ulrike; Storelvmo, Trude; Jones, Andy; Rotstayn, Leon; Menon, Surabi; Quaas, Johannes et al. September 25, 2009.

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Uncertainties in aerosol forcings, especially those associated with clouds, contribute to a large extent to uncertainties in the total anthropogenic forcing. The interaction of aerosols with clouds and radiation introduces feedbacks which can affect the rate of rain formation. Traditionally these feedbacks were not included in estimates of total aerosol forcing. Here we argue that they should be included because these feedbacks act quickly compared with the time scale of global warming. We show that for different forcing agents (aerosols and greenhouse gases) the radiative forcings as traditionally defined agree rather well with estimates from a method, here referred to as radiative flux perturbations (RFP), that takes these fast feedbacks and interactions into account. Thus we propose replacing the direct and indirect aerosol forcing in the IPCC forcing chart with RFP estimates. This implies that it is better to evaluate the total anthropogenic aerosol effect as a whole.

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  • Journal Name: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

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  • Report No.: LBNL-3612E
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • DOI: 10.5194/acpd-9-25633-2009 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 985197
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1015786

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  • September 25, 2009

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  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Oct. 17, 2017, 7:01 p.m.

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Lohmann, Ulrike; Storelvmo, Trude; Jones, Andy; Rotstayn, Leon; Menon, Surabi; Quaas, Johannes et al. Total aerosol effect: forcing or radiative flux perturbation?, article, September 25, 2009; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1015786/: accessed September 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.