Climate Change Research ›› 2021, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (6): 691-698.doi: 10.12006/j.issn.1673-1719.2021.191

• Special Section on the Sixth Assessment Report of IPCC: WGI • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Earth’s energy budget, climate feedbacks, and climate sensitivity

ZHANG Hua1,2,3(), WANG Fei2,1, ZHAO Shu-Yun3,2(), XIE Bing4   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
    2 Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster, Ministry of Education & Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disaster, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
    3 Department of Atmospheric Science, School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430078, China
    4 CMA?NJU Joint Laboratory for Climate Prediction Studies, Beijing 100081, China
  • Received:2021-08-25 Revised:2021-09-14 Online:2021-11-30 Published:2021-10-09
  • Contact: ZHAO Shu-Yun;


This work extracts the chapter seven of the IPCC AR6 working group I on the Earth’s energy budget, climate feedback, and climate sensitivity, and gives a concise summary on the new findings and conclusions on the topic. AR6 suggests that the effective radiative forcing (ERF) from anthropogenic activity over the industrial era is 2.72 [1.96-3.48] W/m2. Changes in well-mixed greenhouse gases and aerosols contribute to the total anthropogenic ERF with 3.32 [3.03-3.61] W/m2 and -1.1 [-1.7--0.4] W/m2, respectively. The net climate feedback parameter is assessed to be -1.16 [-1.81--0.51] W/(m2∙℃), and clouds remain the largest contribution to overall uncertainty in climate feedbacks. Equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) and transient climate response (TCR) are effective measures that can be used to assess the response of global mean surface air temperature to forcing factors. The best estimates of ECS and TCR are 3.0 [2.0-5.0]℃ and 1.8 [1.2-2.4]℃, respectively.

Key words: Effective radiative forcing (ERF), Climate feedback, Equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS), Transient climate response (TCR)

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