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Monitoring Top-of-Atmosphere Radiative Energy Imbalance for Climate PredictionLarge climate feedback uncertainties limit the prediction accuracy of the Earth s future climate with an increased CO2 atmosphere. One potential to reduce the feedback uncertainties using satellite observations of top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiative energy imbalance is explored. Instead of solving the initial condition problem in previous energy balance analysis, current study focuses on the boundary condition problem with further considerations on climate system memory and deep ocean heat transport, which is more applicable for the climate. Along with surface temperature measurements of the present climate, the climate feedbacks are obtained based on the constraints of the TOA radiation imbalance. Comparing to the feedback factor of 3.3 W/sq m/K of the neutral climate system, the estimated feedback factor for the current climate system ranges from -1.3 to -1.0 W/sq m/K with an uncertainty of +/-0.26 W/sq m/K. That is, a positive climate feedback is found because of the measured TOA net radiative heating (0.85 W/sq m) to the climate system. The uncertainty is caused by the uncertainties in the climate memory length. The estimated time constant of the climate is large (70 to approx. 120 years), implying that the climate is not in an equilibrium state under the increasing CO2 forcing in the last century.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Lin, Bing (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Chambers, Lin H. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Stackhouse, Paul W., Jr. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Minnis, Patrick (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
July 13, 2009
Subject Category
Meteorology and Climatology
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
International Symposium on Atmospheric Light Scattering and Remote Sensing(Xl''An)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 720817.04.07.01
Distribution Limits