Stronger Constraints on the Anthropogenic Indirect Aerosol Effect

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Science  01 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5595, pp. 1012-1015
DOI: 10.1126/science.1075405

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The anthropogenic indirect aerosol effects of modifying cloud albedo and cloud lifetime cannot be deduced from observations alone but require a modeling component. Here we validate a climate model, with and without indirect aerosol effects, by using satellite observations. The model agrees better with observations when both indirect aerosol effects are included. However, the simulated clouds are more susceptible to aerosols than the observed clouds from the POLDER satellite, thus overestimating the indirect aerosol effect. By taking the difference in susceptibilities into account, the global mean total anthropogenic aerosol effect is reduced from –1.4 to –0.85 watts per square meter.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: Ulrike.Lohmann{at}Dal.Ca

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