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Title: Large regional shortwave forcing by anthropogenic methane informed by Jovian observations

Abstract

Recently, it was recognized that widely used calculations of methane radiative forcing systematically underestimated its global value by 15% by omitting its shortwave effects. We show that shortwave forcing by methane can be accurately calculated despite considerable uncertainty and large gaps in its shortwave spectroscopy. We demonstrate that the forcing is insensitive, even when confronted with much more complete methane absorption spectra extending to violet light wavelengths derived from observations of methane-rich Jovian planets. We undertake the first spatially resolved global calculations of this forcing and find that it is dependent on bright surface features and clouds. Localized annual mean forcing from preindustrial to present-day methane increases approaches +0.25 W/m 2, 10 times the global annualized shortwave forcing and 43% of the total direct CH 4 forcing. Shortwave forcing by anthropogenic methane is sufficiently large and accurate to warrant its inclusion in historical analyses, projections, and mitigation strategies for climate change.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  3. California Inst. of Technology, Pasadena, CA (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) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1506363
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Science Advances
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 4; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 2375-2548
Publisher:
AAAS
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Collins, William D., Feldman, Daniel R., Kuo, Chaincy, and Nguyen, Newton H.. Large regional shortwave forcing by anthropogenic methane informed by Jovian observations. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aas9593.
Collins, William D., Feldman, Daniel R., Kuo, Chaincy, & Nguyen, Newton H.. Large regional shortwave forcing by anthropogenic methane informed by Jovian observations. United States. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aas9593.
Collins, William D., Feldman, Daniel R., Kuo, Chaincy, and Nguyen, Newton H.. Wed . "Large regional shortwave forcing by anthropogenic methane informed by Jovian observations". United States. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aas9593. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1506363.
@article{osti_1506363,
title = {Large regional shortwave forcing by anthropogenic methane informed by Jovian observations},
author = {Collins, William D. and Feldman, Daniel R. and Kuo, Chaincy and Nguyen, Newton H.},
abstractNote = {Recently, it was recognized that widely used calculations of methane radiative forcing systematically underestimated its global value by 15% by omitting its shortwave effects. We show that shortwave forcing by methane can be accurately calculated despite considerable uncertainty and large gaps in its shortwave spectroscopy. We demonstrate that the forcing is insensitive, even when confronted with much more complete methane absorption spectra extending to violet light wavelengths derived from observations of methane-rich Jovian planets. We undertake the first spatially resolved global calculations of this forcing and find that it is dependent on bright surface features and clouds. Localized annual mean forcing from preindustrial to present-day methane increases approaches +0.25 W/m2, 10 times the global annualized shortwave forcing and 43% of the total direct CH4 forcing. Shortwave forcing by anthropogenic methane is sufficiently large and accurate to warrant its inclusion in historical analyses, projections, and mitigation strategies for climate change.},
doi = {10.1126/sciadv.aas9593},
journal = {Science Advances},
number = 9,
volume = 4,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {9}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

The HITRAN 2008 molecular spectroscopic database
journal, June 2009

  • Rothman, L. S.; Gordon, I. E.; Barbe, A.
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The HITRAN2012 molecular spectroscopic database
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