Aerosol and cloud effects on solar brightening and the recent rapid warming
Article first published online: 24 JUN 2008
Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 35, Issue 12, June 2008
How to Cite
2008), Aerosol and cloud effects on solar brightening and the recent rapid warming, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L12708, doi:10.1029/2008GL034228., et al. (
- Issue published online: 24 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 24 JUN 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 MAY 2008
- Manuscript Received: 9 APR 2008
- solar brightening;
- surface radiative
 The rapid temperature increase of 1°C over mainland Europe since 1980 is considerably larger than the temperature rise expected from anthropogenic greenhouse gas increases. Here we present aerosol optical depth measurements from six specific locations and surface irradiance measurements from a large number of radiation sites in Northern Germany and Switzerland. The measurements show a decline in aerosol concentration of up to 60%, which have led to a statistically significant increase of solar irradiance under cloud-free skies since the 1980s. The measurements confirm solar brightening and show that the direct aerosol effect had an approximately five times larger impact on climate forcing than the indirect aerosol and other cloud effects. The overall aerosol and cloud induced surface climate forcing is ∼+1 W m−2 dec−1 and has most probably strongly contributed to the recent rapid warming in Europe.