Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Climate Change - Increasing Greenhouse Effect measured "in the wild"

Scientists have observed an increase in carbon dioxide’s greenhouse effect at the Earth’s surface. 

These graphs show carbon dioxide’s increasing greenhouse effect at two locations on the Earth’s surface. 

The first graph shows COradiative forcing measurements obtained at a research facility in Oklahoma

The second graph shows similar upward trends at a research facility on the North Slope of Alaska. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)
The researchers link this upward trend to rising CO2 levels from fossil fuel emissions.

Radiative forcing is a measure of how much the planet’s energy balance is altered by atmospheric changes. 

Positive radiative forcing occurs when the Earth absorbs more energy from solar radiation than it emits as heat radiation back to space.

“We see, for the first time in the field, the amplification of the greenhouse effect because there’s more COin the atmosphere to absorb what the Earth emits in response to incoming solar radiation,” says Daniel Feldman.

Dr Feldman is a scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Earth Sciences Division and is lead author of the paper.

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