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

Global Mean Radiative Forcings

Figure TS.5

Figure TS.5. (a) Global mean radiative forcings (RF) and their 90% confidence intervals in 2005 for various agents and mechanisms. Columns on the right-hand side specify best estimates and confidence intervals (RF values); typical geographical extent of the forcing (Spatial scale); and level of scientific understanding (LOSU) indicating the scientific confidence level as explained in Section 2.9. Errors for CH4, N2O and halocarbons have been combined. The net anthropogenic radiative forcing and its range are also shown. Best estimates and uncertainty ranges can not be obtained by direct addition of individual terms due to the asymmetric uncertainty ranges for some factors; the values given here were obtained from a Monte Carlo technique as discussed in Section 2.9. Additional forcing factors not included here are considered to have a very low LOSU. Volcanic aerosols contribute an additional form of natural forcing but are not included due to their episodic nature. The range for linear contrails does not include other possible effects of aviation on cloudiness. (b) Probability distribution of the global mean combined radiative forcing from all anthropogenic agents shown in (a). The distribution is calculated by combining the best estimates and uncertainties of each component. The spread in the distribution is increased significantly by the negative forcing terms, which have larger uncertainties than the positive terms. {2.9.1, 2.9.2; Figure 2.20}