A comparison of climate response to different radiative forcings in three general circulation models:Towards an improved metric of climate change

Joshi, M., Shine, K., Ponater, M., Stuber, N., Sausen, R. and Li, L. (2003) A comparison of climate response to different radiative forcings in three general circulation models:Towards an improved metric of climate change. Climate Dynamics, 20 (7-8). pp. 843-854. ISSN 0930-7575

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Abstract

In order to review, and possibly refine, the concept of radiative forcing as a suitable metric for climate change, the responses of three general circulation models to distinct forcing scenarios are compared. CO, solar radiation, and O are added in different locations, whilst keeping the globally averaged radiative forcing constant at 1 Wm. The three models react differently to the forcings, as feedback mechanisms such as sea-ice albedo and clouds behave differently in each model. However, we find that their climate sensitivities λ (defined as the ratio of the globally averaged surface temperature change to the radiative forcing), normalised by the climate sensitivity for a control case (e.g. CO added globally), match each other to within 30% in most experiments. Moreover, the models indicate generic deviations of λ from the case of global CO perturbations: upper tropospheric O increases generally produce lower values of λ, while lower stratospheric O perturbations lead to higher values of λ, as found in some previous work. λ tends to be higher for extratropical forcings than tropical forcings; a phenomenon which can be partially accounted for by a new explanation based on the variation of the outgoing longwave radiation with latitude. Our results suggest that if the radiative forcing associated with some perturbation is multiplied by some factor accounting for the efficiency of that mechanism, then such modified forcings can be compared more robustly than the forcings themselves.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Climatic Research Unit
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Volcanoes@UEA
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Meteorology, Oceanography and Climate Dynamics
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Climate, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2014 12:16
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2018 11:32
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/47770
DOI:

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