Using this graphic and referring to it is encouraged, and please use it in presentations, web pages, newspapers, blogs and reports.
For any form of publication, please include the link to this page and give the cartographer/designer credit (in this case Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal)
Radiative forcing on climate change, 1994 report of the scientific assessment working group of IPCC, summary to policymakers, WMO, UNEP; L.D. Danny HArvey, Climate and global environmenatl change, Prentice Hall, Pearson Education, Harlow, United Kingdom, 2000
Uploaded on Saturday 25 Feb 2012
Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
The amount of aerosols in the air has direct effect on the amount of solar radiation hitting the Earth's surface. Aerosols may have significant local or regional impact on temperature. Water vapour is a greenhouse gas, but at the same time the upper white surface of clouds reflects solar radiation back into space. Albedo - reflections of solar radiation from surfaces on the Earth - creates difficulties in exact calculations. If e.g. the polar icecap melts, the albedo will be significantly reduced. Open water absorbs heat, while white ice and snow reflect it.