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Bogdanov M. B., Chervyakov M. Y. Estimation of Response Time and Sensitivity of the Earth’s Climate System to Radiative Forcing. Izvestiya of Saratov University. Earth Sciences, 2019, vol. 19, iss. 4, pp. 216-223. DOI:

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0).

Estimation of Response Time and Sensitivity of the Earth’s Climate System to Radiative Forcing


The Earth’s climate system (ECS) is considered as a linear system whose input is a change in the solar constant, and the output is an anomaly of the globally averaged surface temperature. As a result of the restoration, the impulse response of the system was obtained at time intervals up to 100 months. It has been shown that the response time of ECS can be characterized by a time constant of 1.305 ± 0.026 months. The sensitivity of ECS to radiative forcing is 0.320±0.074 K W-1m2, and the positive feedback coefficient is 1.07±0.25. The heat capacity of the ECS per unit area is 10.7±2.6 MJ K-1m-2 and practically coincides with the heat capacity of the atmosphere. Therefore, the reaction of ECS to a change in radiative forcing at such a time interval can be determined by atmospheric processes.


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