IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis

Figure 2.20. (A) Global mean RFs from the agents and mechanisms discussed in this chapter, grouped by agent type. Anthropogenic RFs and the natural direct solar RF are shown. The plotted RF values correspond to the bold values in Table 2.12. Columns indicate other characteristics of the RF; efficacies are not used to modify the RFs shown. Time scales represent the length of time that a given RF term would persist in the atmosphere after the associated emissions and changes ceased. No CO2 time scale is given, as its removal from the atmosphere involves a range of processes that can span long time scales, and thus cannot be expressed accurately with a narrow range of lifetime values. The scientific understanding shown for each term is described in Table 2.11. (B) Probability distribution functions (PDFs) from combining anthropogenic RFs in (A). Three cases are shown: the total of all anthropogenic RF terms (block filled red curve; see also Table 2.12); LLGHGs and ozone RFs only (dashed red curve); and aerosol direct and cloud albedo RFs only (dashed blue curve). Surface albedo, contrails and stratospheric water vapour RFs are included in the total curve but not in the others. For all of the contributing forcing agents, the uncertainty is assumed to be represented by a normal distribution (and 90% confidence intervals) with the following exceptions: contrails, for which a lognormal distribution is assumed to account for the fact that the uncertainty is quoted as a factor of three; and tropospheric ozone, the direct aerosol RF (sulphate, fossil fuel organic and black carbon, biomass burning aerosols) and the cloud albedo RF, for which discrete values based on Figure 2.9, Table 2.6 and Table 2.7 are randomly sampled. Additional normal distributions are included in the direct aerosol effect for nitrate and mineral dust, as these are not explicitly accounted for in Table 2.6. A one-million point Monte Carlo simulation was performed to derive the PDFs (Boucher and Haywood, 2001). Natural RFs (solar and volcanic) are not included in these three PDFs. Climate efficacies are not accounted for in forming the PDFs.