## What is radiative forcing IPCC?

Radiative forcing, a measure, as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), of the influence a given climatic factor has on the amount of downward-directed radiant energy impinging upon Earth’s surface. In other cases, radiative forcing has an anthropogenic, or exclusively human, origin.

## What is total radiative forcing?

Radiative forcing is the change in energy flux in the atmosphere caused by natural and/or anthropogenic factors of climate change as measured by watts / metre2. It is quantified in units of watts per square meter, and often summarized as an average over the total surface area of the globe.

**How do we measure radiative forcing?**

Radiative forcing is calculated in watts per square meter, which represents the size of the energy imbalance in the atmosphere. NOAA also translates the total radiative forcing of these measured gases into an index value called the Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (right side of Figure 1).

**What is effective radiative forcing?**

Effective radiative forcing (ERF) is now used to quantify the impact of some forcing agents that involve rapid adjustments of components of the atmosphere and surface that are assumed constant in the RF concept (see Box TS. 2).

### What is negative radiative forcing?

These changes are measured by the amount of warming or cooling they can produce, which is called “radiative forcing.” Changes that have a warming effect are called “positive” forcing, while changes that have a cooling effect are called “negative” forcing.

### What is a climate forcing agent?

A climate forcing can be defined as an imposed perturbation of Earth’s energy balance. The common unit of measure for climatic forcing agents is the energy perturbation that they introduce into the climate system, measured in units of watts per square meter (W/m2).

**What is the largest contributor to climate change?**

Electricity and Heat Production (25% of 2010 global greenhouse gas emissions): The burning of coal, natural gas, and oil for electricity and heat is the largest single source of global greenhouse gas emissions.

**What is the current radiative forcing?**

The current level of radiative forcing, according to the IPCC AR4, is 1.6 watts per square meter (with a range of uncertainty from 0.6 to 2.4).

## What causes positive radiative forcing?

Incoming Energy – Outgoing Energy = Radiative Forcing When forcings result in incoming energy being greater than outgoing energy, the planet will warm (positive RF). Conversely, if outgoing energy is greater than incoming energy, the planet will cool.

## Why is radiative forcing important?

Radiative forcing is an important feature of GHGs, i.e., the influence that this gas has on the balance of incoming and outgoing energy in the earth-atmosphere system and is an index of the importance of the factor as a potential climate change mechanism.

**What is a positive forcing?**

**What are the two most significant forcing factors?**

There are two main types of forcings that exist – positive forcing and negative forcing. Positive forcing warms the Earth, while negative forcing cools it.