Describes the ways in which sulphur is exchanged within and between in the Earth's terrestrial surfaces and atmosphere. This exchange involves various physical, chemical and biological processes, and takes place with sulphur in various organic and inorganic forms (e.g. as sulphur dioxide). It includes sulphate aerosols that scatter and absorb solar radiation, and indirectly affects cloud processes.
Sulphur gases emitted from fossil fuel burning, and naturally from the oceans, takes part in chemical reactions in the atmosphere to form small particles - sulphate aerosol. These are eventually removed from the atmosphere by rain and clouds, having a typical lifetime of a few days, but whilst in the atmosphere they can have a substantial cooling effect on climate.
- The HadCM3 model used to produce the UKCP09 probabilistic projections includes some climate-sulphur cycle feedbacks but omits others. More details about the how the sulphur cycle is represented in UKCP09 are given in Box 2.1 in the UKCP09 Climate change projections report. Table 2.1 provides a list of the constituents included, and not included, in the UKCP09 probabilistic projections.
- A discussion of sources of uncertainty in the UKCP09 probabilistic projections is available in Annex 2.4 of the UKCP09 Climate change projections report.
Find out more
- IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group 1 report The Physical Science Basis , Chapter 7.5
- IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group 1 report The Physical Science Basis , Chapter 2.4