Radiative forcing and temperature response to changes in urban albedos and associated CO2 offsets

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The two main forcings that can counteract to some extent the positive forcings from greenhouse gases from pre-industrial times to present-day are the aerosol and related aerosol-cloud forcings, and the radiative response to changes in surface albedo. Here, we quantify the change in radiative forcing and land surface temperature that may be obtained by increasing the albedos of roofs and pavements in urban areas in temperate and tropical regions of the globe by 0.1. Using the catchment land surface model (the land model coupled to the GEOS-5 Atmospheric General Circulation Model), we quantify the change in the total outgoing (outgoing ... continued below

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014005

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Menon, Surabi; Akbari, Hashem; Mahanama, Sarith; Sednev, Igor & Levinson, Ronnen February 12, 2010.

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The two main forcings that can counteract to some extent the positive forcings from greenhouse gases from pre-industrial times to present-day are the aerosol and related aerosol-cloud forcings, and the radiative response to changes in surface albedo. Here, we quantify the change in radiative forcing and land surface temperature that may be obtained by increasing the albedos of roofs and pavements in urban areas in temperate and tropical regions of the globe by 0.1. Using the catchment land surface model (the land model coupled to the GEOS-5 Atmospheric General Circulation Model), we quantify the change in the total outgoing (outgoing shortwave+longwave) radiation and land surface temperature to a 0.1 increase in urban albedos for all global land areas. The global average increase in the total outgoing radiation was 0.5 Wm{sup -2}, and temperature decreased by {approx}0.008 K for an average 0.003 increase in surface albedo. These averages represent all global land areas where data were available from the land surface model used and are for the boreal summer (June-July-August). For the continental U.S. the total outgoing radiation increased by 2.3 Wm{sup -2}, and land surface temperature decreased by {approx}0.03 K for an average 0.01 increase in surface albedo. Based on these forcings, the expected emitted CO{sub 2} offset for a plausible 0.25 and 0.15 increase in albedos of roofs and pavements, respectively, for all global urban areas, was found to be {approx} 57 Gt CO{sub 2}. A more meaningful evaluation of the impacts of urban albedo increases on global climate and the expected CO{sub 2} offsets would require simulations which better characterizes urban surfaces and represents the full annual cycle.

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014005

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  • Journal Name: Environmental Research Letters; Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 1

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  • Report No.: LBNL-3504E
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/5/1/014005 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 983488
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1016153

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • February 12, 2010

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  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Oct. 18, 2017, 10:37 a.m.

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Menon, Surabi; Akbari, Hashem; Mahanama, Sarith; Sednev, Igor & Levinson, Ronnen. Radiative forcing and temperature response to changes in urban albedos and associated CO2 offsets, article, February 12, 2010; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1016153/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.