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Table 7.3 Relative Forcing of Increased Global Temperature
Percent of Relative
Radiative Forcing
Carbon dioxide, CO 2
Methane, CH 4
Halocarbons [predominantly chlorofluorocarbons
Nitrous oxide, N 2 O
Figure 7.5 Global mean
radiative forcing [watts per
square meter (W m 2 )] of the
climate system for the year 2000
relative to 1750. The
Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) has applied
a level of scientific understanding
(LOSU) index to each forcing (see
Table 7.3). This represents the
panel's subjective judgment
about the reliability of the forcing
estimate, involving factors such
as the assumptions necessary to
evaluate the forcing, the degree
of knowledge of the
physical-chemical mechanisms
determining the forcing, and the
uncertainties surrounding the
quantitative estimate of the
Data from Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change, Climate Change 2001:
The Scientific Basis , Chapter 6, IPCC,
Geneva, Switzerland, 2001.
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