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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 28, 2022
  2. Abstract. For the radiative impact of individual climate forcings,most previous studies focused on the global mean values at the top of theatmosphere (TOA), and less attention has been paid to surface processes,especially for black carbon (BC) aerosols. In this study, the surface radiativeresponses to five different forcing agents were analyzed by using idealizedmodel simulations. Our analyses reveal that for greenhouse gases, solarirradiance, and scattering aerosols, the surface temperature changes aremainly dictated by the changes of surface radiative heating, but for BC,surface energy redistribution between different components plays a morecrucial role. Globally, when a unit BC forcing is imposed at TOA, the netshortwave radiation at the surface decreases by -5.87±0.67 W m−2 (W m−2)−1 (averaged over global land without Antarctica), which ispartially offset by increased downward longwave radiation (2.32±0.38 W m−2 (W m−2)−1 from the warmer atmosphere, causing a netdecrease in the incoming downward surface radiation of -3.56±0.60 W m−2 (W m−2)−1. Despite a reduction in the downward radiationenergy, the surface air temperature still increases by 0.25±0.08 Kbecause of less efficient energy dissipation, manifested by reduced surfacesensible (-2.88±0.43 W m−2 (W m−2)−1) and latent heat flux(-1.54±0.27 W m−2 (W m−2)−1), as well as a decrease inBowen ratio (-0.20±0.07 (W m−2)−1). Such reductions of turbulentfluxes can be largely explained by enhanced air stability (0.07±0.02 K (W m−2)−1), measured as the difference of the potential temperaturebetween 925 hPa and surface,more »and reduced surface wind speed (-0.05±0.01 m s−1 (W m−2)−1). The enhanced stability is due to the fasteratmospheric warming relative to the surface, whereas the reduced wind speedcan be partially explained by enhanced stability and reduced Equator-to-poleatmospheric temperature gradient. These rapid adjustments under BC forcingoccur in the lower atmosphere and propagate downward to influence thesurface energy redistribution and thus surface temperature response, whichis not observed under greenhouse gases or scattering aerosols. Our studyprovides new insights into the impact of absorbing aerosols on surfaceenergy balance and surface temperature response.« less
  3. Abstract Radiative feedbacks depend on the spatial patterns of sea surface temperature (SST) and thus can change over time as SST patterns evolve—the so-called pattern effect. This study investigates intermodel differences in the magnitude of the pattern effect and how these differences contribute to the spread in effective equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) within CMIP5 and CMIP6 models. Effective ECS in CMIP5 estimated from 150-yr-long abrupt4×CO2 simulations is on average 10% higher than that estimated from the early portion (first 50 years) of those simulations, which serves as an analog for historical warming; this difference is reduced to 7% on average in CMIP6. The (negative) net radiative feedback weakens over the course of the abrupt4×CO2 simulations in the vast majority of CMIP5 and CMIP6 models, but this weakening is less dramatic on average in CMIP6. For both ensembles, the total variance in the effective ECS is found to be dominated by the spread in radiative response on fast time scales, rather than the spread in feedback changes. Using Green’s functions derived from two AGCMs shows that the spread in feedbacks on fast time scales may be primarily due to differences in atmospheric model physics, whereas the spread in feedback evolution ismore »primarily governed by differences in SST patterns. Intermodel spread in feedback evolution is well explained by differences in the relative warming in the west Pacific warm-pool regions for the CMIP5 models, but this relation fails to explain differences across the CMIP6 models, suggesting that a stronger sensitivity of extratropical clouds to surface warming may also contribute to feedback changes in CMIP6.« less
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 19, 2023