During the latter half of the 20th century, China experienced an increase in surface temperature, despite a decrease in insolation, which is the incoming solar radiation that reaches the surface.
In an article published recently in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, Imtiaz Rangwala of the Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, and colleagues report using observational data and global climate model simulations to examine trends in several climate variables, including surface insolation, surface air temperature, cloud cover, surface vapor and air pressure, and evaporation.
Based on the model, the downward trend in insolation is expected to continue as more sulfate pollutants and other manmade aerosols, which scatter incoming solar radiation, are released by industries. However, surface temperatures are nonetheless modeled to increase.
The authors suggest that both past and future warming are linked with an increase in downward longwave radiation, which is the radiation directed towards the surface that is emitted by the atmosphere itself. This increase in longwave radiation occurs partly in response to water vapor feedbacks triggered by the increase in manmade greenhouse gases that warm the surface.
Authors: Imtiaz Rangwala: Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.A.; Jim Miller: Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.A.; Gary L. Russell: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, New York, U.S.A.; Ming Xu: Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Source: Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) paper 10.1029/2006GL027778, 2006
Materials provided by American Geophysical Union. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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