Comparison of Short-Term and Long-Term Radiative Feedbacks and Variability in Twentieth-Century Global Climate Model Simulations Public Deposited

This is the publisher’s final pdf. The published article is copyrighted by the American Meteorological Society and can be found at:


Attribute NameValues
Abstract or Summary
  • The climate sensitivity uncertainty of global climate models (GCMs) is partly due to the spread of individual feedbacks. One approach to constrain long-term climate sensitivity is to use the relatively short observational record, assuming there exists some relationship in feedbacks between short and long records. The present work tests this assumption by regressing short-term feedback metrics, characterized by the 20-yr feedback as well as interannual and intra-annual metrics, against long-term longwave water vapor, longwave atmospheric temperature, and shortwave surface albedo feedbacks calculated from 13 twentieth-century GCM simulations. Estimates of long-term feedbacks derived from reanalysis observations and statistically significant regressions are consistent with but no more constrained than earlier estimates. For the interannual metric, natural variability contributes to the feedback uncertainty, reducing the ability to estimate the interannual behavior from one 20-yr time slice. For both the interannual and intra-annual metrics, uncertainty in the intermodel relationships between 20-yr metrics and 100-yr feedbacks also contributes to the feedback uncertainty. Because of differences in time scales of feedback processes, relationships between the 20-yr interannual metric and 100-yr water vapor and atmospheric temperature feedbacks are significant for only one feedback calculation method. The intra-annual and surface albedo relationships show more complex behavior, though positive correspondence between Northern Hemisphere surface albedo intra-annual metrics and 100-yr feedbacks is consistent with previous studies. Many relationships between 20-yr metrics and 100-yr feedbacks are sensitive to the specific GCMs included, highlighting that care should be taken when inferring long-term feedbacks from short-term observations.
Resource Type
Date Available
Date Issued
  • Dalton, Meghan M., Karen M. Shell, 2013: Comparison of Short-Term and Long-Term Radiative Feedbacks and Variability in Twentieth-Century Global Climate Model Simulations. Journal of Climate, 26, 10051–10070. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00564.1
Rights Statement
Funding Statement (additional comments about funding)
Peer Reviewed


In Administrative Set:
Last modified: 10/27/2017

Downloadable Content

Download PDF

EndNote | Zotero | Mendeley