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Spatial Patterns of Modeled Climate Feedback and Contributions to Temperature Response and Polar Amplification

Crook, JA, Forster, PM and Stuber, N (2011) Spatial Patterns of Modeled Climate Feedback and Contributions to Temperature Response and Polar Amplification. Journal of Climate, 24 (14). 3575 - 3592 . ISSN 0894-8755

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Abstract

Spatial patterns of local climate feedback and equilibrium partial temperature responses are produced from eight general circulation models with slab oceans forced by doubling carbon dioxide (CO2). The analysis is extended to other forcing mechanisms with the Met Office Hadley Centre slab ocean climate model version 3 (HadSM3). In agreement with previous studies, the greatest intermodel differences are in the tropical cloud feedbacks. However, the greatest intermodel spread in the equilibrium temperature response comes from the water vapor plus lapse rate feedback, not clouds, disagreeing with a previous study. Although the surface albedo feedback contributes most in the annual mean to the greater warming of high latitudes, compared to the tropics (polar amplification), its effect is significantly ameliorated by shortwave cloud feedback. In different seasons the relative importance of the contributions varies considerably, with longwave cloudy-sky feedback and horizontal heat transport plus ocean heat release playing a major role during winter and autumn when polar amplification is greatest. The greatest intermodel spread in annual mean polar amplification is due to variations in horizontal heat transport and shortwave cloud feedback. Spatial patterns of local climate feedback for HadSM3 forced with 2 x CO2, +2% solar, low-level scattering aerosol and high-level absorbing aerosol are more similar than those for different models forced with 2 x CO2. However, the equilibrium temperature response to high-level absorbing aerosol shows considerably enhanced polar amplification compared to the other forcing mechanisms, largely due to differences in horizontal heat transport and water vapor plus lapse rate feedback, with the forcing itself acting to reduce amplification. Such variations in high-latitude response between models and forcing mechanisms make it difficult to infer specific causes of recent Arctic temperature change.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © Copyright 2011 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a web site or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy, available on the AMS Web site located at (http://www.ametsoc.org/) or from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or copyright@ametsoc.org.
Keywords: GENERAL-CIRCULATION MODELS, GREENHOUSE-PLUS FEEDBACK, SURFACE ALBEDO FEEDBACK, CLOUD FEEDBACK, PART I, SENSITIVITY, FORCINGS
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Earth and Environment (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2011 14:45
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2014 10:05
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2011JCLI3863.1
Status: Published
Publisher: AMER METEOROLOGICAL SOC
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1175/2011JCLI3863.1
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43198

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