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Climate forcing by anthropogenic aerosols

Abstract

Although long considered to be of marginal importance to global climate change, tropospheric aerosol contributes substantially to radiative forcing, and anthropogenic sulfate aerosol in particular has imposed a major perturbation to this forcing. Both the direct scattering of short wavelength solar radiation and the modification of the shortwave reflective properties of clouds by sulfate aerosol particles increase planetary albedo, thereby exerting a cooling influence on the planet. Current climate forcing due to anthropogenic sulfate is estimated to be -1 to -2 watts per square metre, globally averaged. This perturbation is comparable in magnitude to current anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing but opposite in sign. Thus, the aerosol forcing has likely offset global greenhouse warming to a substantial degree. However, differences in geographical and seasonal distributions of these forcings preclude any simple compensation. Aerosol effects must be taken into account in evaluating anthropogenic influences on past, current, and projected future climate and in formulating policy regarding controls on emission of greenhouse gases and sulfur dioxide. Resolution of such policy issues requires integrated research on the magnitude and geographical distribution of aerosol climate forcing and on the controlling chemical and physical processes. 73 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.
Authors:
Charlson, R J; Schwartz, S E; Hales, J M; Cess, R D; Coakley, Jr, J A; Hansen, J E; Hofmann, D J [1] 
  1. University of Washington, Seattle, WA (USA). Inst. for Environmental Studies, Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences
Publication Date:
Jan 24, 1992
Product Type:
Journal Article
Reference Number:
CLA-92-050380; EDB-92-081383
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Science (Washington, D.C.); (United States); Journal Volume: 255:5043
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; TROPOSPHERE; AEROSOLS; ALBEDO; ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY; CLIMATIC CHANGE; CLOUDS; ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY; GREENHOUSE GASES; NORTHERN HEMISPHERE; SOLAR RADIATION; SULFATES; SULFUR DIOXIDE; CHALCOGENIDES; CHEMISTRY; COLLOIDS; DISPERSIONS; EARTH ATMOSPHERE; EARTH PLANET; GOVERNMENT POLICIES; OXIDES; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; PLANETS; RADIATIONS; SOLS; STELLAR RADIATION; SULFUR COMPOUNDS; SULFUR OXIDES; 540120* - Environment, Atmospheric- Chemicals Monitoring & Transport- (1990-)
OSTI ID:
5461685
Country of Origin:
United States
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Journal ID: ISSN 0036-8075; CODEN: SCIEA
Submitting Site:
CLA
Size:
Pages: 423-430
Announcement Date:

Citation Formats

Charlson, R J, Schwartz, S E, Hales, J M, Cess, R D, Coakley, Jr, J A, Hansen, J E, and Hofmann, D J. Climate forcing by anthropogenic aerosols. United States: N. p., 1992. Web. doi:10.1126/science.255.5043.423.
Charlson, R J, Schwartz, S E, Hales, J M, Cess, R D, Coakley, Jr, J A, Hansen, J E, & Hofmann, D J. Climate forcing by anthropogenic aerosols. United States. doi:10.1126/science.255.5043.423.
Charlson, R J, Schwartz, S E, Hales, J M, Cess, R D, Coakley, Jr, J A, Hansen, J E, and Hofmann, D J. 1992. "Climate forcing by anthropogenic aerosols." United States. doi:10.1126/science.255.5043.423. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/10.1126/science.255.5043.423.
@misc{etde_5461685,
title = {Climate forcing by anthropogenic aerosols}
author = {Charlson, R J, Schwartz, S E, Hales, J M, Cess, R D, Coakley, Jr, J A, Hansen, J E, and Hofmann, D J}
abstractNote = {Although long considered to be of marginal importance to global climate change, tropospheric aerosol contributes substantially to radiative forcing, and anthropogenic sulfate aerosol in particular has imposed a major perturbation to this forcing. Both the direct scattering of short wavelength solar radiation and the modification of the shortwave reflective properties of clouds by sulfate aerosol particles increase planetary albedo, thereby exerting a cooling influence on the planet. Current climate forcing due to anthropogenic sulfate is estimated to be -1 to -2 watts per square metre, globally averaged. This perturbation is comparable in magnitude to current anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing but opposite in sign. Thus, the aerosol forcing has likely offset global greenhouse warming to a substantial degree. However, differences in geographical and seasonal distributions of these forcings preclude any simple compensation. Aerosol effects must be taken into account in evaluating anthropogenic influences on past, current, and projected future climate and in formulating policy regarding controls on emission of greenhouse gases and sulfur dioxide. Resolution of such policy issues requires integrated research on the magnitude and geographical distribution of aerosol climate forcing and on the controlling chemical and physical processes. 73 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.}
doi = {10.1126/science.255.5043.423}
journal = {Science (Washington, D.C.); (United States)}
volume = {255:5043}
journal type = {AC}
place = {United States}
year = {1992}
month = {Jan}
}