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The transient response of global-mean precipitation to increasing carbon dioxide levels

Andrews, T and Forster, PM (2010) The transient response of global-mean precipitation to increasing carbon dioxide levels. Environmental Research Letters, 5 (2). ISSN 1748-9326

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Abstract

The transient response of global-mean precipitation to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels of 1% yr(-1) is investigated in 13 fully coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) and compared to a period of stabilization. During the period of stabilization, when carbon dioxide levels are held constant at twice their unperturbed level and the climate left to warm, precipitation increases at a rate of similar to 2.4% per unit of global-mean surface-air-temperature change in the AOGCMs. However, when carbon dioxide levels are increasing, precipitation increases at a smaller rate of similar to 1.5% per unit of global-mean surface-air-temperature change. This difference can be understood by decomposing the precipitation response into an increase from the response to the global surface-temperature increase (and the climate feedbacks it induces), and a fast atmospheric response to the carbon dioxide radiative forcing that acts to decrease precipitation. According to the multi-model mean, stabilizing atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide would lead to a greater rate of precipitation change per unit of global surface-temperature change.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd. Reproduced in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: precipitation, carbon dioxide, surface-temperature change, climate models, climate sensitivity, hydrological cycle, adjustment, CO2, AOGCM, will, rain
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 11:11
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2014 19:50
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/5/2/025212
Status: Published
Publisher: IOP Publishing Ltd
Identification Number: 10.1088/1748-9326/5/2/025212
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43206

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