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Reassessment of pre-industrial fire emissions strongly affects anthropogenic aerosol forcing

Hamilton, D. S. ; Hantson, S. ; Scott, C. E. ; Kaplan, J. O. ; Pringle, K. J. ; Nieradzik, L. P. LU ; Rap, A. ; Folberth, G. A. ; Spracklen, D. V. and Carslaw, K. S. (2018) In Nature Communications 9(1).
Abstract

Uncertainty in pre-industrial natural aerosol emissions is a major component of the overall uncertainty in the radiative forcing of climate. Improved characterisation of natural emissions and their radiative effects can therefore increase the accuracy of global climate model projections. Here we show that revised assumptions about pre-industrial fire activity result in significantly increased aerosol concentrations in the pre-industrial atmosphere. Revised global model simulations predict a 35% reduction in the calculated global mean cloud albedo forcing over the Industrial Era (1750–2000 CE) compared to estimates using emissions data from the Sixth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. An estimated upper limit to pre-industrial fire... (More)

Uncertainty in pre-industrial natural aerosol emissions is a major component of the overall uncertainty in the radiative forcing of climate. Improved characterisation of natural emissions and their radiative effects can therefore increase the accuracy of global climate model projections. Here we show that revised assumptions about pre-industrial fire activity result in significantly increased aerosol concentrations in the pre-industrial atmosphere. Revised global model simulations predict a 35% reduction in the calculated global mean cloud albedo forcing over the Industrial Era (1750–2000 CE) compared to estimates using emissions data from the Sixth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. An estimated upper limit to pre-industrial fire emissions results in a much greater (91%) reduction in forcing. When compared to 26 other uncertain parameters or inputs in our model, pre-industrial fire emissions are by far the single largest source of uncertainty in pre-industrial aerosol concentrations, and hence in our understanding of the magnitude of the historical radiative forcing due to anthropogenic aerosol emissions.

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author
organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Nature Communications
volume
9
issue
1
article number
3182
publisher
Nature Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • scopus:85051542475
  • pmid:30093678
ISSN
2041-1723
DOI
10.1038/s41467-018-05592-9
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0a8d4a08-b458-4b16-b0f5-2c11914fad8e
date added to LUP
2018-09-06 09:05:49
date last changed
2020-03-24 06:21:01
@article{0a8d4a08-b458-4b16-b0f5-2c11914fad8e,
  abstract     = {<p>Uncertainty in pre-industrial natural aerosol emissions is a major component of the overall uncertainty in the radiative forcing of climate. Improved characterisation of natural emissions and their radiative effects can therefore increase the accuracy of global climate model projections. Here we show that revised assumptions about pre-industrial fire activity result in significantly increased aerosol concentrations in the pre-industrial atmosphere. Revised global model simulations predict a 35% reduction in the calculated global mean cloud albedo forcing over the Industrial Era (1750–2000 CE) compared to estimates using emissions data from the Sixth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. An estimated upper limit to pre-industrial fire emissions results in a much greater (91%) reduction in forcing. When compared to 26 other uncertain parameters or inputs in our model, pre-industrial fire emissions are by far the single largest source of uncertainty in pre-industrial aerosol concentrations, and hence in our understanding of the magnitude of the historical radiative forcing due to anthropogenic aerosol emissions.</p>},
  author       = {Hamilton, D. S. and Hantson, S. and Scott, C. E. and Kaplan, J. O. and Pringle, K. J. and Nieradzik, L. P. and Rap, A. and Folberth, G. A. and Spracklen, D. V. and Carslaw, K. S.},
  issn         = {2041-1723},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  number       = {1},
  publisher    = {Nature Publishing Group},
  series       = {Nature Communications},
  title        = {Reassessment of pre-industrial fire emissions strongly affects anthropogenic aerosol forcing},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-05592-9},
  doi          = {10.1038/s41467-018-05592-9},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2018},
}