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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Cited articles

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Byrne, B. and Goldblatt, C.: Radiative forcing at high concentrations of well-mixed greenhouse gases, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 152–160,, 2014.
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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,, 2011.
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.