The Evolution of Climate Sensitivity and Climate Feedbacks in the Community Atmosphere Model Public Deposited

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  • The major evolution of the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Atmosphere Model (CAM) is used to diagnose climate feedbacks, understand how climate feedbacks change with different physical parameterizations, and identify the processes and regions that determine climate sensitivity. In the evolution of CAM from version 4 to version 5, the water vapor, temperature, surface albedo, and lapse rate feedbacks are remarkably stable across changes to the physical parameterization suite. However, the climate sensitivity increases from 3.2 K in CAM4 to 4.0 K in CAM5. The difference is mostly due to (i) more positive cloud feedbacks and (ii) higher CO₂ radiative forcing in CAM5. The intermodel differences in cloud feedbacks are largest in the tropical trade cumulus regime and in the midlatitude storm tracks. The subtropical stratocumulus regions do not contribute strongly to climate feedbacks owing to their small area coverage. A “modified Cess” configuration for atmosphere-only model experiments is shown to reproduce slab ocean model results. Several parameterizations contribute to changes in tropical cloud feedbacks between CAM4 and CAM5, but the new shallow convection scheme causes the largest midlatitude feedback differences and the largest change in climate sensitivity. Simulations with greater cloud forcing in the mean state have lower climate sensitivity. This work provides a methodology for further analysis of climate sensitivity across models and a framework for targeted comparisons with observations that can help constrain climate sensitivity to radiative forcing.
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  • Gettelman, A., J. E. Kay, K. M. Shell, 2012: The Evolution of Climate Sensitivity and Climate Feedbacks in the Community Atmosphere Model. Journal of Climate, 25, 1453–1469. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00197.1
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  • Vol. 25 no. 5
  • Journal of Climate
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2012-07-03T20:51:47Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 ShellKarenCEOASEvolutionClimateSensitivity.pdf: 6487202 bytes, checksum: 4a2695291c105a1afd58502d0d823a56 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2012-03-01
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Deanne Bruner (deanne.bruner@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-07-03T20:51:47Z No. of bitstreams: 1 ShellKarenCEOASEvolutionClimateSensitivity.pdf: 6487202 bytes, checksum: 4a2695291c105a1afd58502d0d823a56 (MD5)

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