Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Radiative forcing

I am reading a paper on links between native forest and climate in Australia and the first sentence states "There is very high confidence that the global average net impact of anthropogenic activities since the 1750s has contributed to an average radiative forcing of +0.6 to +2.4 Wm-2." I obviously understood the beginning of the sentence, but really had no idea about the end, particularly the concept of radiative forcing.

After a quick review of wikipedia I now understand radiative forcing as the net difference between incoming and outgoing radiation energy across sections of our atmosphere (particularly the troposphere and stratosphere) and measured in watts per square metre. The wiki page then goes on to explain that if the radiative forcing is positive, it means that the climate will warm.

Today has not been wasted. Pin It

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