Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Jan 13;101(2):423-8. Epub 2003 Dec 29.

Soot climate forcing via snow and ice albedos.

Author information

1
National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2880 Broadway, New York, NY 10025, USA. jhansen@giss.nasa.gov

Abstract

Plausible estimates for the effect of soot on snow and ice albedos (1.5% in the Arctic and 3% in Northern Hemisphere land areas) yield a climate forcing of +0.3 W/m(2) in the Northern Hemisphere. The "efficacy" of this forcing is approximately 2, i.e., for a given forcing it is twice as effective as CO(2) in altering global surface air temperature. This indirect soot forcing may have contributed to global warming of the past century, including the trend toward early springs in the Northern Hemisphere, thinning Arctic sea ice, and melting land ice and permafrost. If, as we suggest, melting ice and sea level rise define the level of dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, then reducing soot emissions, thus restoring snow albedos to pristine high values, would have the double benefit of reducing global warming and raising the global temperature level at which dangerous anthropogenic interference occurs. However, soot contributions to climate change do not alter the conclusion that anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been the main cause of recent global warming and will be the predominant climate forcing in the future.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center