Human Influence on the Atmospheric Vertical Temperature Structure: Detection and Observations

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Science  15 Nov 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5290, pp. 1170-1173
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5290.1170


Recent work suggests a discernible human influence on climate. This finding is supported, with less restrictive assumptions than those used in earlier studies, by a 1961 through 1995 data set of radiosonde observations and by ensembles of coupled atmosphere-ocean simulations forced with changes in greenhouse gases, tropospheric sulfate aerosols, and stratospheric ozone. On balance, agreement between the simulations and observations is best for a combination of greenhouse gas, aerosol, and ozone forcing. The uncertainties remaining are due to imperfect knowledge of radiative forcing, natural climate variability, and errors in observations and model response.