Climate Dynamics

, Volume 18, Issue 3–4, pp 297–302 | Cite as

On summing the components of radiative forcing of climate change

  • O. Boucher
  • J. Haywood


 Radiative forcing is a useful concept in determining the potential influence of a particular mechanism of climate change. However, due to the increased number of forcing agents identified over the past decade, the total radiative forcing is difficult to assess. By assigning a range of probability distribution functions to the individual radiative forcings and using a Monte-Carlo approach, we estimate the total radiative forcing since pre-industrial times including all quantitative radiative forcing estimates to date. The resulting total radiative forcing has a 75–97% probability of being positive (or similarly a 3–25% probability of being negative), with mean radiative forcing ranging from +0.68 to +1.34 W m−2, and median radiative forcing ranging from +0.94 to +1.39 W m−2.


Climate Change Distribution Function Probability Distribution Probability Distribution Function Potential Influence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. Boucher
    • 1
  • J. Haywood
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire d'Optique Atmosphérique, U.F.R. de Physique, Bâtiment P5, Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, 59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex, France. On sabbatical leave at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany E-mail: boucher@loa.univ-lille1.frXX
  2. 2.Meteorological Office, London Road, Bracknell, UKGB

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