Studies of aerosol effects on the Earth's energy budget usually consider only the cooling effects at short (solar) wavelengths, but we demonstrate that they also have important warming effects at thermal infrared (IR) wavelengths that have rarely been observed and are commonly ignored in climate models. We use high-resolution spectra to obtain the IR radiative forcing at the surface for aerosols encountered in the outflow from northeastern Asia. The spectra were measured by the Marine-Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (M-AERI) from the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown during the Aerosol Characterization Experiment-Asia (ACE-Asia). We show that the daytime surface IR forcing are often a few Wm-2 and can reach almost 10 Wm-2 for large aerosol loadings. Thus, even the smaller aerosol IR forcing observed here are comparable to or greater than the 1 to 2 Wm-2 IR surface enhancement from increases in greenhouse gases. These results highlight the importance of aerosol IR forcing which should be included in climate model simulations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)