Estimated PDFs of climate system properties including natural and anthropogenic forcings

Chris E. Forest, Peter H. Stone, Andrei P. Sokolov

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115 Scopus citations


We present revised probability density functions (PDF) for climate system properties (climate sensitivity, rate of deep-ocean heat uptake, and the net aerosol forcing strength) that include the effect on 20th century temperature changes of natural as well as anthropogenic forcings. The additional natural forcings, primarily the cooling by volcanic eruptions, affect the PDF by requiring a higher climate sensitivity and a lower rate of deep-ocean heat uptake to reproduce the observed temperature changes. The estimated 90% range of climate sensitivity is 2.1 to 8.9 K. The net aerosol forcing strength for the 1980s shifted toward positive values to compensate for the volcanic forcing with 90% bounds of -0.74 to -0.14 W/m2. The rate of deep-ocean heat uptake is reduced with the effective diffusivity, Kv, ranging from 0.05 to 4.1 cm2/s. This upper bound implies that many AOGCMs mix heat into the deep ocean (below the mixed layer) too efficiently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 16 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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