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Radiative forcing of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide: a significant revision of the methane radiative forcing

Etminan, M., Myhre, G., Highwood, E. J. and Shine, K. P. (2016) Radiative forcing of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide: a significant revision of the methane radiative forcing. Geophysical Research Letters, 43 (24). pp. 12614-12623. ISSN 0094-8276

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/2016GL071930

Abstract/Summary

New calculations of the radiative forcing (RF) are presented for the three main well‐mixed greenhouse gases, methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide. Methane’s RF is particularly impacted because of the inclusion of the shortwave forcing; the 1750–2011 RF is about 25% higher (increasing from 0.48 W m−2 to 0.61 W m−2) compared to the value in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2013 assessment; the 100 year global warming potential is 14% higher than the IPCC value. We present new simplified expressions to calculate RF. Unlike previous expressions used by IPCC, the new ones include the overlap between CO2 and N2O; for N2O forcing, the CO2 overlap can be as important as the CH4 overlap. The 1750–2011 CO2 RF is within 1% of IPCC’s value but is about 10% higher when CO2 amounts reach 2000 ppm, a value projected to be possible under the extended RCP8.5 scenario.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:68557
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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