Historical ozone radiative forcing

New results from our research at the University of Reading has been publicated recently on Geophysical Research Letters. In this case with the use of the software SOCRATES-RF and the recently created CMIP6 ozone concentration datasets we used to assess on the role of ozone as radiative forcing agent.

Original abstract in plain language: Radiative forcing is a key concept used in climate science to ascertain the strength of different agents, such as greenhouse gases or aerosols among others, in driving climate change. In this context, ozone is recognized as one of the main contributors to radiative forcing according to recent assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. However, the relative uncertainty remains higher than for other greenhouse gases. This paper evaluates the ozone radiative forcing via calculations based on a newly created ozone data set for the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) phase 6, an initiative designed to better understand past, present, and future climate changes. In general, human activity has led to an increase in ozone concentrations in the lower atmosphere (the troposphere) and decreases in the upper atmosphere (the stratosphere); our paper investigates the effect of both these changes. Our results indicate that the CMIP ozone radiative forcing is 80% larger in the current phase 6 than a similar estimation based on data used in CMIP phase 5. We also present new insights into how ozone changes have led to stratospheric temperature changes, as well as the geographical distribution of ozone radiative forcing.

Any interested reader can have more information about the paper on the following links:

Also we are showing one of the online figures of the paper which shows the evolution of ozone RF for trospospheric, stratospheric and whole atmosphere for CMIP6 ozone concentrations dataset, with both SW and LW components.

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