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Why Is the Climate Forcing of Sulfate Aerosols So Uncertain?


doi: 10.1007/s00376-001-0026-0

  • Sulfate aerosol particles have strong scattering effect on the solar radiation transfer which results in increasing the planet albedo and, hence, tend to cool the earth-atmosphere system. Also, aerosols can act as the cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) which tend to increase the albedo of clouds and cool the global warming. The ARPEGE-Climat version 3 AGCM with FMR radiation scheme is used to estimate the direct and indirect radiative forcing of sulfate aerosols. For minimizing the uncertainties in assessing this kind of cooling effect, all kinds of factors are analyzed which have been mixed in the assessment process and may lead to the different results of the radiative forcing of aerosols. It is noticed that one of the uncertainties to assess the climate forcing of aerosols by GCM results from the different definition of radiative forcing that was used. In order to clarify this vague idea, the off-line case for considering no feedbacks and on-line case for including all the feedbacks have been used for assessment. The direct forcing of sulfate aerosols in off-line case is -0.57 W/m2 and -0.38 W/m2 for the clear sky and all sky respectively. The value of on-line case appears to be a little larger than that in off-line case chiefly due to the feedback of clouds. The indirect forcing of sulfate aerosols in off-line case is -1.4 W / m2 and -1.0 W / m2 in on-line case. The radiative forcing of sulfate aerosols has obvious regional characteristics. There is a larger negative radiative forcing over North America, Europe and East Asia. If the direct and indirect forcing are added together, it is enough to offset the positive radiative forcing induced by the greenhouse gases in these regions.
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Manuscript History

Manuscript received: 10 November 2001
Manuscript revised: 10 November 2001
通讯作者: 陈斌, bchen63@163.com
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Why Is the Climate Forcing of Sulfate Aerosols So Uncertain?

  • 1. Centre national de recherches météorologiques, Meteo-France,Centre national de recherches météorologiques, Meteo-France,Centre national de recherches météorologiques, Meteo-France,Centre national de recherches météorologiques, Meteo-France,Centre national de recherches météorologiques, Meteo-France

Abstract: Sulfate aerosol particles have strong scattering effect on the solar radiation transfer which results in increasing the planet albedo and, hence, tend to cool the earth-atmosphere system. Also, aerosols can act as the cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) which tend to increase the albedo of clouds and cool the global warming. The ARPEGE-Climat version 3 AGCM with FMR radiation scheme is used to estimate the direct and indirect radiative forcing of sulfate aerosols. For minimizing the uncertainties in assessing this kind of cooling effect, all kinds of factors are analyzed which have been mixed in the assessment process and may lead to the different results of the radiative forcing of aerosols. It is noticed that one of the uncertainties to assess the climate forcing of aerosols by GCM results from the different definition of radiative forcing that was used. In order to clarify this vague idea, the off-line case for considering no feedbacks and on-line case for including all the feedbacks have been used for assessment. The direct forcing of sulfate aerosols in off-line case is -0.57 W/m2 and -0.38 W/m2 for the clear sky and all sky respectively. The value of on-line case appears to be a little larger than that in off-line case chiefly due to the feedback of clouds. The indirect forcing of sulfate aerosols in off-line case is -1.4 W / m2 and -1.0 W / m2 in on-line case. The radiative forcing of sulfate aerosols has obvious regional characteristics. There is a larger negative radiative forcing over North America, Europe and East Asia. If the direct and indirect forcing are added together, it is enough to offset the positive radiative forcing induced by the greenhouse gases in these regions.

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