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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 3
Clim. Past, 11, 559–570, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-11-559-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Clim. Past, 11, 559–570, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-11-559-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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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Cited articles

Brewer, A.: Evidence for a world circulation provided by the measurements of helium and water vapour distribution in the stratosphere, Q. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 75, 351–363, https://doi.org/10.1002/qj.49707532603, 1949.
Byrne, B. and Goldblatt, C.: Radiative forcing at high concentrations of well-mixed greenhouse gases, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 152–160, https://doi.org/10.1002/2013GL058456, 2014.
Donn, W. L., Donn, B. D., and Valentine, W. G.: On the early history of the Earth, Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 76, 287–306, https://doi.org/10.1130/0016-7606(1965)76[287:OTEHOT]2.0.CO;2, 1965.
Driese, S. G., Jirsa, M. A., Ren, M., Brantley, S. L., Sheldon, N. D., Parker, D., and Schmitz, M.: Neoarchean paleoweathering of tonalite and metabasalt: implications for reconstructions of 2.69 Gyr early terrestrial ecosystems and paleoatmospheric chemistry, Precambrian Res., 189, 1–17, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.precamres.2011.04.003, 2011.
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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.
High methane concentrations are thought to have helped sustain warm surface temperatures on the...
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