Publication Abstracts

Schmidt et al. 2010

Schmidt, G.A., R. Ruedy, R.L. Miller, and A.A. Lacis, 2010: Attribution of the present-day total greenhouse effect. J. Geophys. Res., 115, D20106, doi:10.1029/2010JD014287.

The relative contributions of atmospheric long-wave absorbers to the present-day global greenhouse effect are among the most misquoted statistics in public discussions of climate change. Much of the interest in these values is however due to an implicit assumption that these contributions are directly relevant for the question of climate sensitivity. Motivated by the need for a clear reference for this issue, we review the existing literature and use the Goddard Institute for Space Studies ModelE radiation module to provide an overview of the role of each absorber at the present-day and under doubled CO2. With a straightforward scheme for allocating overlaps, we find that water vapour is the dominant contributor (∼50% of the effect), followed by clouds (∼25%) and then CO2 with ∼20%. All other absorbers play only minor roles. In a doubled CO2 scenario, this allocation is essentially unchanged, even though the magnitude of the total greenhouse effect is significantly larger than the initial radiative forcing, underscoring the importance of feedbacks from water vapour and clouds to climate sensitivity.

Export citation: [ BibTeX ] [ RIS ]

BibTeX Citation

  author={Schmidt, G. A. and Ruedy, R. and Miller, R. L. and Lacis, A. A.},
  title={Attribution of the present-day total greenhouse effect},
  journal={J. Geophys. Res.},

[ Close ]

RIS Citation

ID  - sc05400j
AU  - Schmidt, G. A.
AU  - Ruedy, R.
AU  - Miller, R. L.
AU  - Lacis, A. A.
PY  - 2010
TI  - Attribution of the present-day total greenhouse effect
JA  - J. Geophys. Res.
VL  - 115
SP  - D20106
DO  - 10.1029/2010JD014287
ER  -

[ Close ]

• Return to 2010 Publications

• Return to Publications Homepage