Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
CLIMATE FEEDBACK (CF) is a direct or indirect partial response (sensitivity) of any component of the climate system (for example, clouds, atmospheric chemical composition, or atmospheric water vapor) back on the Earths near-surface temperature (NST) that was initially offset by an external to the climate system forcing. An initial disturbance of the NST comes from a change in the physical properties of the surface (for example, due to human agricultural activities) or atmosphere (for example, an industrial increase of greenhouse gases), or occurs due to the presence of an external to the systems heat source (such as urban heat islands). When the NST is initially forced, a feedback either amplifies (positive feedback) or damps/controls/scales (negative feedback) the effect of the disturbance back on the NST. CF should be differentiated from radiative feedbacks (RF), which represent a response of the NST back to the radiative balance at the top of the ...