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  1. 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
  2. Abstract. The dynamics of marine-terminating outlet glaciers are of fundamental interest in glaciology and affect mass loss from ice sheets in a warming climate. In this study, we analyze the response of outlet glaciers to different sources of climate forcing. We find that outlet glaciers have a characteristically different transient response to surface-mass-balance forcing applied over the interior than to oceanic forcing applied at the grounding line. A recently developed reduced model represents outlet-glacier dynamics via two widely separated response timescales: a fast response associated with grounding-zone dynamics and a slow response of interior ice. The reduced model is shown to emulate the behavior of a more complex numerical model of ice flow. Together, these models demonstrate that ocean forcing first engages the fast, local response and then the slow adjustment of interior ice, whereas surface-mass-balance forcing is dominated by the slow interior adjustment. We also demonstrate the importance of the timescales of stochastic forcing for assessing the natural variability in outlet glaciers, highlighting that decadal persistence in ocean variability can affect the behavior of outlet glaciers on centennial and longer timescales. Finally, we show that these transient responses have important implications for attributing observed glacier changes to natural ormore »anthropogenic influences; the future change already committed by past forcing; and the impact of past climate changes on the preindustrial glacier state, against which current and future anthropogenic influences are assessed.« less
  3. Abstract

    Global radiative feedbacks have been found to vary in global climate model (GCM) simulations. Atmospheric GCMs (AGCMs) driven with historical patterns of sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and sea ice concentrations produce radiative feedbacks that trend toward more negative values, implying low climate sensitivity, over recent decades. Freely evolving coupled GCMs driven by increasing CO2 produce radiative feedbacks that trend toward more positive values, implying increasing climate sensitivity, in the future. While this time variation in feedbacks has been linked to evolving SST patterns, the role of particular regions has not been quantified. Here, a Green’s function is derived from a suite of simulations within an AGCM (NCAR’s CAM4), allowing an attribution of global feedback changes to surface warming in each region. The results highlight the radiative response to surface warming in ascent regions of the western tropical Pacific as the dominant control on global radiative feedback changes. Historical warming from the 1950s to 2000s preferentially occurred in the western Pacific, yielding a strong global outgoing radiative response at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) and thus a strongly negative global feedback. Long-term warming in coupled GCMs occurs preferentially in tropical descent regions and in high latitudes, where surface warmingmore »yields small global TOA radiation change but large global surface air temperature change, and thus a less-negative global feedback. These results illuminate the importance of determining mechanisms of warm pool warming for understanding how feedbacks have varied historically and will evolve in the future.

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