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  1. Abstract

    Historical simulations performed for the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 used biomass burning emissions between 1997 and 2014 containing higher spatial and temporal variability compared to emission inventories specified for earlier years, and compared to emissions used in previous (e.g., CMIP5) simulation intercomparisons. Using the Community Earth System Model version 2 Large Ensemble, we show this increased biomass burning emissions variability leads to amplification of the hydrologic cycle poleward of 40°N. Notably, the high variability of biomass burning emissions leads to increased latent heat fluxes, column‐integrated precipitable water, and precipitation. Greater ocean heat uptake, weaker meridional energy transport from the tropics, greater atmospheric shortwave and longwave absorption, and lower relative humidity act to moderate this hydrologic cycle amplification. Our results suggest it is not only the secular changes (on multidecadal timescales) in biomass burning emissions that impact the hydrologic cycle, but also the shorter timescale variability in emissions.

  2. The sea ice-albedo feedback (SIAF) is the product of the ice sensitivity (IS), that is, how much the surface albedo in sea ice regions changes as the planet warms, and the radiative sensitivity (RS), that is, how much the top-of-atmosphere radiation changes as the surface albedo changes. We demonstrate that the RS calculated from radiative kernels in climate models is reproduced from calculations using the “approximate partial radiative perturbation” method that uses the climatological radiative fluxes at the top of the atmosphere and the assumption that the atmosphere is isotropic to shortwave radiation. This method facilitates the comparison of RS from satellite-based estimates of climatological radiative fluxes with RS estimates across a full suite of coupled climate models and, thus, allows model evaluation of a quantity important in characterizing the climate impact of sea ice concentration changes. The satellite-based RS is within the model range of RS that differs by a factor of 2 across climate models in both the Arctic and Southern Ocean. Observed trends in Arctic sea ice are used to estimate IS, which, in conjunction with the satellite-based RS, yields an SIAF of 0.16 ± 0.04 W m−2K−1. This Arctic SIAF estimate suggests a modest amplification ofmore »future global surface temperature change by approximately 14% relative to a climate system with no SIAF. We calculate the global albedo feedback in climate models using model-specific RS and IS and find a model mean feedback parameter of 0.37 W m−2K−1, which is 40% larger than the IPCC AR5 estimate based on using RS calculated from radiative kernel calculations in a single climate model.

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  3. Abstract

    The evolution of tropical anvil clouds from their origin in deep convective cores to their slow decay determines the climatic effects of clouds in tropical convective regions. Despite the relevance of anvil clouds for climate and responses of clouds to global warming, processes dominating their evolution are not well understood. Currently available observational data reveal instantaneous snapshots of anvil cloud properties, but cannot provide a process‐based perspective on anvil evolution. We therefore conduct simulations with the high resolution version of the exascale earth system model in which we track mesoscale convective systems over the tropical Western Pacific and compute trajectories that follow air parcels detrained from peaks of convective activity. With this approach we gain new insight into the anvil cloud evolution both in present day and future climate.

    Comparison with geostationary satellite data shows that the model is able to simulate maritime mesoscale convective systems reasonably well. Trajectory results indicate that anvil cloud lifetime is about 15 h with no significant change in a warmer climate. The anvil ice mixing ratio is larger in a warmer climate due to a larger source of ice by detrainment and larger depositional growth leading to a more negative net cloud radiative effectmore »along detrained trajectories. However, the increases in sources are counteracted by increases in sinks of ice, particularly snow formation and sedimentation. Furthermore, we find that the mean anvil cloud feedback along trajectories is positive and consistent with results from more traditional cloud feedback calculation methods.

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  4. Abstract

    An advanced aerosol treatment, with a focus on semivolatile nitrate formation, is introduced into the Community Atmosphere Model version 5 with interactive chemistry (CAM5‐chem) by coupling the Model for Simulating Aerosol Interactions and Chemistry (MOSAIC) with the 7‐mode Modal Aerosol Module (MAM7). An important feature of MOSAIC is dynamic partitioning of all condensable gases to the different fine and coarse mode aerosols, as governed by mode‐resolved thermodynamics and heterogeneous chemical reactions. Applied in the free‐running mode from 1995 to 2005 with prescribed historical climatological conditions, the model simulates global distributions of sulfate, nitrate, and ammonium in good agreement with observations and previous studies. Inclusion of nitrate resulted in ∼10% higher global average accumulation mode number concentrations, indicating enhanced growth of Aitken mode aerosols from nitrate formation. While the simulated accumulation mode nitrate burdens are high over the anthropogenic source regions, the sea‐salt and dust modes respectively constitute about 74% and 17% of the annual global average nitrate burden. Regional clear‐sky shortwave radiative cooling of up to −5 W m−2due to nitrate is seen, with a much smaller global average cooling of −0.05 W m−2. Significant enhancements in regional cloud condensation nuclei (at 0.1% supersaturation) and cloud droplet number concentrations are also attributed tomore »nitrate, causing an additional global average shortwave cooling of −0.8 W m−2. Taking into consideration of changes in both longwave and shortwave radiation under all‐sky conditions, the net change in the top of the atmosphere radiative fluxes induced by including nitrate aerosol is −0.7 W m−2.

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