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
ANTHROPOGENIC FORCING IS one of two parts of radiative forcing in the classification used to describe disturbances in the Earths energybudgetwhenhumans are considered as a factor to the Earths climate system. The radiative forcing (in units of watts per m. squared) is the net downward radiative flux at the surface or at some level in the atmosphere, usually at the top of the atmosphere or at the tropopause. In atmospheric and climate sciences, the radiative forcing is used to predict surface climate response and for comparative studies of different forcings. A synonym for anthropogenic forcing is human-induced forcing. The other part of radiative forcing is natural forcing, which is a disturbance of the Earths energy budget without human direct or indirect influences. Examples of natural forcing are volcanic eruptions, solar variability, or changes in a space objects orbital parameters. Anthropogenic forcing is a change in the Earths energy balance due ...