Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary A coupled 1-D time-dependent radiative-convective-photochemical diffusion model which extends from the surface to 60 km is used to investigate the potential impact of greenhouse trace gas emissions on long-term changes in global climate, atmospheric ozone and surface UV-B radiation, taking into accoont the influence of aerosol loading into the atmosphere from major volcanic eruptions, of thermal inertia of the upper mixed layer of the ocean and of other radiativephotochemical feedback mechanisms. Experiments are carried out under global and annual average insolation and cloudiness conditions. The transient calculations are made for three different growth scenarios for increase in trace gas concentrations. Scenario 1, which begins in 1850, uses the best estimate values for future trace gas concentrations of CO2, CH4, N2O, CFC-11, CFC-12 and tropospheric O3, based on current observational trends. Scenarios 2 and 3, which begin in 1990, assume lower and upper ranges, respectively, of observed growth rates to estimate future concentrations. The transient response of the model for Scenario 1 suggests that surface warming of the ocean mixed layer of about 1 K should have taken place between 1850 and 1990 due to a combined increase of atmospheric CO2 and other trace gases. For the three scenarios considered in this study, the cumulative surface warming induced by all major trace gases for the period 1850 to 2080 ranges from 2.7 K to 8.2 K with the best estimate value of 5 K. The results indicate that the direct and the indirect chemistry-climate interactions of non-CO2 trace gases contribute significantly to the cumulative surface warming (up to 65% by the year 2080). The thermal inertia of a mixed layer of the ocean is shown to have the effect of delaying equilibrium surface warming by almost three decades with an e-folding time of about 5 years. The volcanic aerosols which would result from major volcanic eruptions play a significant role by interrupting the long-term greenhouse surface warming trend and replacing it by a temporary cooling on a time scale of a decade or less. Furthermore, depending on the scenario used, a reduction in the net ozone column could result in an increase in the solar UV-B radiation at the surface by as much as 300% towards the end of 21st century.
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