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Precipitation, radiative forcing and global temperature change

Andrews, T, Forster, PM, Boucher, O, Bellouin, N and Jones, A (2010) Precipitation, radiative forcing and global temperature change. Geophysical Research Letters, 37. ISSN 0094-8276

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Radiative forcing is a useful tool for predicting equilibrium global temperature change. However, it is not so useful for predicting global precipitation changes, as changes in precipitation strongly depend on the climate change mechanism and how it perturbs the atmospheric and surface energy budgets. Here a suite of climate model experiments and radiative transfer calculations are used to quantify and assess this dependency across a range of climate change mechanisms. It is shown that the precipitation response can be split into two parts: a fast atmospheric response that strongly correlates with the atmospheric component of radiative forcing, and a slower response to global surface temperature change that is independent of the climate change mechanism, similar to 2-3% per unit of global surface temperature change. We highlight the precipitation response to black carbon aerosol forcing as falling within this range despite having an equilibrium response that is of opposite sign to the radiative forcing and global temperature change.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2010 American Geophysical Union. Reproduced in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: hydrological cycle, climate-change, part I, adjustment, atmosphere, models
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: 07 Sep 2011 11:25
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2014 10:01
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2010GL043991
Status: Published
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Identification Number: 10.1029/2010GL043991
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43204

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