Radiative Forcing
7 definitions

Radiative Forcing

Radiative forcing is the change in the net, downward minus upward, radiative flux (expressed in Wm–2) at the tropopause or top of atmosphere due to a change in an external driver of climate change, such as, for example, a change in the concentration of carbon dioxide or the output of the Sun. Sometimes internal drivers are still treated as forcings even though they result from the alteration in climate, for example aerosol or greenhouse gas changes in paleoclimates. The traditional radiative forcing is computed with all tropospheric properties held fixed at their unperturbed values, and after allowing for stratospheric temperatures, if perturbed, to readjust to radiative-dynamical equilibrium. Radiative forc- ing is called instantaneous if no change in stratospheric temperature is accounted for. The radiative forcing once rapid adjustments are accounted for is termed the effective radiative forcing. For the purposes of this report, radiative forcing is further defined as the change relative to the year 1750 and, unless otherwise noted, refers to a global and annual average value. Radiative forcing is not to be confused with cloud radiative forcing, which describes an unrelated measure of the impact of clouds on the radiative flux at the top of the atmosphere.

Radiative Forcing

A change in the balance between incoming solar radiation and outgoing infra-red radiation. Without any radiative forcing, solar radiation coming to the Earth would continue to be approximately equal to the infra-red radiation emitted from the Earth. The addition of greenhouse gases traps and increased fraction of the infra-red radiation, reradiating it back toward the surface and creating a warming influence (i.e., positive radiative forcing because incoming solar radiation will exceed outgoing infra-red radiation).

Radiative Forcing

A change in the balance between incoming solar radiation and outgoing infrared (i.e., thermal) radiation.  Without any radiative forcing, solar radiation coming to the Earth would continue to be approximately equal to the infrared radiation emitted from the Earth.  The addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere traps an increased fraction of the infrared radiation, reradiating it back toward the surface of the Earth and thereby creates a warming influence.

Radiative Forcing

A change in the balance between incoming solar radiation and outgoing infrared radiation. Without any radiative forcing. solar radiation coming to the Earth would continue to be approximately equal to the infrared radiation emitted from the Earth. The addition of greenhouse gases traps an increased fraction of the infrared radiation. radiating it back toward the surface and creating a warming influence (i.e.. positive radiative forcing because incoming solar radiation will exceed outgoing infrared radiation).

Radiative Forcing

Radiative forcing is the change in the net vertical irradiance (expressed in Watts per square metre: Wm-2) at the tropopause due to an internal change or a change in the external forcing of the climate system, such as, for example, a change in the concentration of carbon dioxide or the output of the Sun. Usually radiative forcing is computed after allowing for stratospheric temperatures to readjust to radiative equilibrium, but with all tropospheric properties held fixed at their unperturbed values. Radiative forcing is called instantaneous if no change in stratospheric temperature is accounted for. Practical problems with this definition, in particular with respect to radiative forcing associated with changes, by aerosols, of the precipitation formation by clouds, are discussed in Chapter 6 of the IPCC Third Assessment Report Working Group I: The Scientific Basis.

Radiative Forcing
  1. In radiation, the net flux of radiation into or out of a system.

    As a consequence of radiative forcing there must be some change to the nonradiative energy states of the system (e.g., its temperature may change).

  2. In climatology, a systematic perturbation to the climatological value of the net radiant flux density at some point in the earth's climate system.

Radiative Forcing

Radiative forcing is the change in the net vertical irradiance (expressed in Wm-2) at the tropopause due to an internal change or a change in the external forcing of the climate system, such as, for example, a change in the concentration of carbon dioxide or the output of the Sun. Usually radiative forcing is computed after allowing for stratospheric temperatures to readjust to radiative equilibrium, but with all tropospheric properties held fixed at their unperturbed values.

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About this term

Radiative Forcing has been defined 7 different ways in documents like IPCC, 2013- Annex III-Glossary, Glossary, Glossary, and 4 more.

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