Why does knowledge of past aerosol forcing matter for future climate change?

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  • This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as doi: 10.1002/2017jd026962

Abstract

Aerosol particles scatter and absorb radiation and interact with cloud particles. The net aerosol forcing since pre-industrial times is negative and has offset part of the greenhouse gas warming. It dominates the uncertainty of the overall anthropogenic forcing. This large uncertainty results from gaps in our knowledge on the underlying aerosol and cloud microphysical processes and aerosol-cloud interactions as well as their representation in global coupled aerosol-climate models. A recent paper by Nazarenko et al. [2017] illustrates how the anthropogenic aerosol forcing, especially the effective radiative forcing that includes aerosol-cloud and aerosol-radiation interactions (ERFaci+ari) depends on climate feedbacks and on the employed aerosol model.

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