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Author Topic: Direct Observation of CO2’s Increasing Greenhouse Effect at Earth's Surface  (Read 2139 times)


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First Direct Observation of Carbon Dioxide’s Increasing Greenhouse Effect at the Earth’s Surface
Scientists have observed an increase in carbon dioxide’s greenhouse effect at the Earth’s surface for the first time. The researchers, led by scientists from the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), measured atmospheric carbon dioxide’s increasing capacity to absorb thermal radiation emitted from the Earth’s surface over an eleven-year period at two locations in North America. They attributed this upward trend to rising CO2 levels from fossil fuel emissions.
“We measured radiation in the form of infrared energy. Then we controlled for other factors that would impact our measurements, such as a weather system moving through the area,” says Feldman.

The result is two time-series from two very different locations. Each series spans from 2000 to the end of 2010, and includes 3300 measurements from Alaska and 8300 measurements from Oklahoma obtained on a near-daily basis.

Both series showed the same trend: atmospheric CO2 emitted an increasing amount of infrared energy, to the tune of 0.2 Watts per square meter per decade. This increase is about ten percent of the trend from all sources of infrared energy such as clouds and water vapor.

Based on an analysis of data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s CarbonTracker system, the scientists linked this upswing in CO2-attributed radiative forcing to fossil fuel emissions and fires.

The measurements also enabled the scientists to detect, for the first time, the influence of photosynthesis on the balance of energy at the surface. They found that CO2-attributed radiative forcing dipped in the spring as flourishing photosynthetic activity pulled more of the greenhouse gas from the air.
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jai mitchell

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I made this:

The .2 watts per meter increase from 2001 to 2011 coincided with the increase in china's coal consumption by over 140% (with related sulfate aerosol emissions increases)

Taking into account the negative forcing parameter from anthropogenic aerosols during this time, the decadal rate of TOA forcing increase is likely >.4 watts per decade due to increased GHG radiative forcing and thermal inertia. (the planet warming more slowly than GHG emissions are abounding).

the current TOA is likely 1.25 Watts per meter squared and if all anthropogenic aerosols stopped being emitted today the TOA would be 2.6 Watts per meter squared in 6 weeks.
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