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Halfway to doubling of CO2 radiative forcing

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Published 19.09.2017

The doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations has become a standard experiment in climate science, and a convenient way of comparing the sensitivity of different climate models.

The doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations has become a standard experiment in climate science, and a convenient way of comparing the sensitivity of different climate models. Gunnar Myhre (CiCERO) and colleagues Cathrine Lund Myhre (NILU), Piers Forster (University of Leeds) and Keith Shine (University of Reading) show that we are now halfway to doubling the radiative forcing of CO2 since pre-industrial times, although concentrations are not halfway to doubling. The combined radiative forcing from all well-mixed greenhouse gases is 84% of the radiative forcing of a CO2 doubling. We estimate that total well-mixed greenhouse gases radiative forcing will be equivalent to a doubling of CO2, with present growth rates, by around 2030.