Articles | Volume 11, issue 3
Research article
27 Mar 2015
Research article |  | 27 Mar 2015

Diminished greenhouse warming from Archean methane due to solar absorption lines

B. Byrne and C. Goldblatt


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Short summary
High methane concentrations are thought to have helped sustain warm surface temperatures on the early Earth (~3 billion years ago) when the sun was only 80% as luminous as today. However, radiative transfer calculations with updated spectral data show that methane is a stronger absorber of solar radiation than previously thought. In this paper we show that the increased solar absorption causes a redcution in the warming ability of methane in the Archaean atmosphere.