Tropospheric Aerosol Climate Forcing in Clear-Sky Satellite Observations over the Oceans

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Science  26 Feb 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5406, pp. 1299-1303
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5406.1299

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Tropospheric aerosols affect the radiative forcing of Earth's climate, but their variable concentrations complicate an understanding of their global influence. Model-based estimates of aerosol distributions helped reveal spatial patterns indicative of the presence of tropospheric aerosols in the satellite-observed clear-sky solar radiation budget over the world's oceans. The results show that, although geographical signatures due to both natural and anthropogenic aerosols are manifest in the satellite observations, the naturally occurring sea-salt is the leading aerosol contributor to the global-mean clear-sky radiation balance over oceans.

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