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The climate warming potential of added CO2!


DP Veteran
Jan 25, 2012
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In looking at climate science and the arguments related to it, we often wonder wide of the central question.
What is the fully equalized warming potential of added CO2?
If we peel away the opinions, we see that most people agree that Earth is 33°C warmer than it should be
based on an energy imbalance of 155 W/m2 at the top of the atmosphere.
We quantify the impact of each individual absorber in the total effect by examining the net amount of long‐waveradiation absorbed in the atmosphere (G, global annual mean surface upwelling LW minus the TOA LW upwelling flux)[Raval and Ramanathan,1989;Stephens and Greenwald,1991]. This is zero in the absence of any long‐wave absorbers, and around 155 W/m2 in the present‐day atmosphere[Kiehl and Trenberth, 1997]. This reduction in outgoing LWflux drives the 33°C greenhouse effect defined above, and is an easier diagnostic to work with.
on top of everything else, these two numbers tell us that the climate's sensitivity to energy imbalance, (regardless of cause),
is .213 °C per Watt per meter square of top of atmosphere imbalance.
Quite a bit of that imbalance has been around for thousands if not hundreds of thousands of years, and so is fully equalized.
If the forcing from a doubling of CO2 is in fact the purported 3.71 W/m2, then the fully equalized
warming potential of that amount of forcing would be 3.71 X .213°C/W/m2=.79°C.
Additional warming observed are ether errors, artifacts, or warming from other sources, like aerosol reductions, land use,
and cloud changes.
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