Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

2015 Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII, Daniele L. Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Daniel Rouan, Tilman Spohn, Stéphane Tirard, Michel Viso

Radiative Forcing

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-44185-5_5165

Definition

Radiative forcing is the difference between the radiant energy received by a planet from its Sun and the energy radiated back to space. This parameter is very important for the planet’s climate, because positive radiative forcing will warm the planet and negative radiative forcing will cool it. There are several factors controlling the radiative forcing. On present-day Earth, greenhouse gases, aerosols in the atmosphere, albedo, ozone, and the anthropogenic stress are more important. In a primitive Earth, greenhouse gases, methane oozes, and albedo could have played a key role in regulating the radiative forcing and controlling ancient climates.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GEOTOP Research Center for Geochemistry and GeodynamicsUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontréalCanada