Temperature-Profile/Lapse-Rate Feedback: A Misunderstood Feedback of the Climate System

DOI: 10.4236/acs.2012.24041   PDF   HTML     3,704 Downloads   6,648 Views  


This study shows that the heretofore assumed condition for no temperature-profile (TP)/lapse-rate feedback, for all altitudes z, or , in fact yields a negative feedback. The correct condition for no TP feedback is for all z, where Ts is the surface temperature. This condition translates into a uniform increase (decrease) in lapse rate with altitude for an increase (decrease) in Ts. The temperature changes caused by a change in solar irradiance and/or planetary albedo satisfy the condition for no TP feedback. The temperature changes caused by a change in greenhouse gas concentration do not satisfy the condition for no TP feedback and, instead, yield a positive feedback.

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M. E. Schlesinger, C. Bruce Entwistle and B. Li, "Temperature-Profile/Lapse-Rate Feedback: A Misunderstood Feedback of the Climate System," Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2012, pp. 474-478. doi: 10.4236/acs.2012.24041.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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