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  1. Abstract Machine-learning-based methods that identify drought in three-dimensional space–time are applied to climate model simulations and tree-ring-based reconstructions of hydroclimate over the Northern Hemisphere extratropics for the past 1000 years, as well as twenty-first-century projections. Analyzing reconstructed and simulated drought in this context provides a paleoclimate constraint on the spatiotemporal characteristics of simulated droughts. Climate models project that there will be large increases in the persistence and severity of droughts over the coming century, but with little change in their spatial extent. Nevertheless, climate models exhibit biases in the spatiotemporal characteristics of persistent and severe droughts over parts of the Northern Hemisphere. We use the paleoclimate record and results from a linear inverse modeling-based framework to conclude that climate models underestimate the range of potential future hydroclimate states. Complicating this picture, however, are divergent changes in the characteristics of persistent and severe droughts when quantified using different hydroclimate metrics. Collectively our results imply that these divergent responses and the aforementioned biases must be better understood if we are to increase confidence in future hydroclimate projections. Importantly, the novel framework presented herein can be applied to other climate features to robustly describe their spatiotemporal characteristics and provide constraints on future changesmore »to those characteristics.« less
  2. Abstract

    Multiple 50‐member ensemble simulations with the Community Earth System Model version 2 are performed to estimate the coupled climate responses to the 2019–2020 Australian wildfires and COVID‐19 pandemic policies. The climate response to the pandemic is found to be weak generally, with global‐mean net top‐of‐atmosphere radiative anomalies of +0.23 ± 0.14 W m−2driving a gradual global warming of 0.05 ± 0.04 K by the end of 2022. While regional anomalies are detectable in aerosol burdens and clear‐sky radiation, few significant anomalies exist in other fields due to internal variability. In contrast, the simulated response to Australian wildfires is a strong and rapid cooling, peaking globally at0.95 ± 0.15 W m−2in late 2019 with a global cooling of 0.06 ± 0.04 K by mid‐2020. Transport of fire aerosols throughout the Southern Hemisphere increases albedo and drives a strong interhemispheric radiative contrast, with simulated responses that are consistent generally with those to a Southern Hemisphere volcanic eruption.

  3. Abstract

    A spurious increase in the interannual variability of prescribed biomass burning (BB) emissions in the CMIP6 forcing database during the satellite era of wildfire monitoring (1997–2014) is found to lead to warming in the Northern Hemisphere extratropics in simulations with the Community Earth System Model version 2 (CESM2). Using targeted sensitivity experiments with the CESM2 in which prescribed BB emissions are homogenized and variability is removed, we show that the warming is specifically attributable to BB variability from 40° to 70°N and arises from a net thinning of the cloud field and an associated increase in absorbed solar radiation. Our results also demonstrate the potential pitfalls of introducing discontinuities in climate forcing data sets when trying to incorporate novel observations.

  4. Abstract

    The Community Earth System Model Version 2 (CESM2) has an equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) of 5.3 K. ECS is an emergent property of both climate feedbacks and aerosol forcing. The increase in ECS over the previous version (CESM1) is the result of cloud feedbacks. Interim versions of CESM2 had a land model that damped ECS. Part of the ECS change results from evolving the model configuration to reproduce the long‐term trend of global and regional surface temperature over the twentieth century in response to climate forcings. Changes made to reduce sensitivity to aerosols also impacted cloud feedbacks, which significantly influence ECS. CESM2 simulations compare very well to observations of present climate. It is critical to understand whether the high ECS, outside the best estimate range of 1.5–4.5 K, is plausible.

  5. Abstract

    Geoengineering methods could potentially offset aspects of greenhouse gas‐driven climate change. However, before embarking on any such strategy, a comprehensive understanding of its impacts must be obtained. Here, a 20‐member ensemble of simulations with the Community Earth System Model with the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model as its atmospheric component is used to investigate the projected hydroclimate changes that occur when greenhouse gas‐driven warming, under a high emissions scenario, is offset with stratospheric aerosol geoengineering. Notable features of the late 21st century hydroclimate response, relative to present day, include a reduction in precipitation in the Indian summer monsoon, over much of Africa, Amazonia and southern Chile and a wintertime precipitation reduction over the Mediterranean. Over most of these regions, the soil desiccation that occurs with global warming is, however, largely offset by the geoengineering. A notable exception is India, where soil desiccation and an approximate doubling of the likelihood of monsoon failures occurs. The role of stratospheric heating in the simulated hydroclimate change is determined through additional experiments where the aerosol‐induced stratospheric heating is imposed as a temperature tendency, within the same model, under present day conditions. Stratospheric heating is found to play a key role in many aspectsmore »of projected hydroclimate change, resulting in a general wet‐get‐drier, dry‐get‐wetter pattern in the tropics and extratropical precipitation changes through midlatitude circulation shifts. While a rather extreme geoengineering scenario has been considered, many, but not all, of the precipitation features scale linearly with the offset global warming.

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