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Title: The spectroscopic foundation of radiative forcing of climate by carbon dioxide

Abstract

The radiative forcing (RF) of carbon dioxide (CO2) is the leading contribution to climate change from anthropogenic activities. Calculating CO2 RF requires detailed knowledge of spectral line parameters for thousands of infrared absorption lines. A reliable spectroscopic characterization of CO2 forcing is critical to scientific and policy assessments of present climate and climate change. Our results show that CO2 RF in a variety of atmospheres is remarkably insensitive to known uncertainties in the three main CO2 spectroscopic parameters: the line shapes, line strengths, and half widths. We specifically examine uncertainty in RF due to line mixing as this process is critical in determining line shapes in the far wings of CO2 absorption lines. RF computed with a Voigt line shape is also examined. Overall, the spectroscopic uncertainty in present-day CO2 RF is less than 1%, indicating a robust foundation in our understanding of how rising CO2 warms the climate system.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [4];  [4];  [5]; ORCiD logo [6];  [6]
  1. NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  3. Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Lexington, MA (United States)
  4. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
  5. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, CO (United States)
  6. Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Hampton, VA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
OSTI Identifier:
1470998
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 43; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Mlynczak, Martin G., Daniels, Taumi S., Kratz, David P., Feldman, Daniel R., Collins, William D., Mlawer, Eli J., Alvarado, Matthew J., Lawler, James E., Anderson, L. W., Fahey, David W., Hunt, Linda A., and Mast, Jeffrey C. The spectroscopic foundation of radiative forcing of climate by carbon dioxide. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1002/2016GL068837.
Mlynczak, Martin G., Daniels, Taumi S., Kratz, David P., Feldman, Daniel R., Collins, William D., Mlawer, Eli J., Alvarado, Matthew J., Lawler, James E., Anderson, L. W., Fahey, David W., Hunt, Linda A., & Mast, Jeffrey C. The spectroscopic foundation of radiative forcing of climate by carbon dioxide. United States. doi:10.1002/2016GL068837.
Mlynczak, Martin G., Daniels, Taumi S., Kratz, David P., Feldman, Daniel R., Collins, William D., Mlawer, Eli J., Alvarado, Matthew J., Lawler, James E., Anderson, L. W., Fahey, David W., Hunt, Linda A., and Mast, Jeffrey C. Tue . "The spectroscopic foundation of radiative forcing of climate by carbon dioxide". United States. doi:10.1002/2016GL068837. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1470998.
@article{osti_1470998,
title = {The spectroscopic foundation of radiative forcing of climate by carbon dioxide},
author = {Mlynczak, Martin G. and Daniels, Taumi S. and Kratz, David P. and Feldman, Daniel R. and Collins, William D. and Mlawer, Eli J. and Alvarado, Matthew J. and Lawler, James E. and Anderson, L. W. and Fahey, David W. and Hunt, Linda A. and Mast, Jeffrey C.},
abstractNote = {The radiative forcing (RF) of carbon dioxide (CO2) is the leading contribution to climate change from anthropogenic activities. Calculating CO2 RF requires detailed knowledge of spectral line parameters for thousands of infrared absorption lines. A reliable spectroscopic characterization of CO2 forcing is critical to scientific and policy assessments of present climate and climate change. Our results show that CO2 RF in a variety of atmospheres is remarkably insensitive to known uncertainties in the three main CO2 spectroscopic parameters: the line shapes, line strengths, and half widths. We specifically examine uncertainty in RF due to line mixing as this process is critical in determining line shapes in the far wings of CO2 absorption lines. RF computed with a Voigt line shape is also examined. Overall, the spectroscopic uncertainty in present-day CO2 RF is less than 1%, indicating a robust foundation in our understanding of how rising CO2 warms the climate system.},
doi = {10.1002/2016GL068837},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 10,
volume = 43,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {5}
}

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