Publications by Duncan Watson-Parris

Constraining uncertainty in aerosol direct forcing

Geophysical Research Letters American Geophysical Union 47 (2020) e2020GL087141

D Watson-Parris, N Bellouin, L Deaconu, N Schutgens, M Yoshioka, L Regayre, K Pringle, J Johnson, C Smith, K Carslaw, P Stier

The uncertainty in present-day anthropogenic forcing is dominated by uncertainty in the strength of the contribution from aerosol. Much of the uncertainty in the direct aerosol forcing can be attributed to uncertainty in the anthropogenic fraction of aerosol in the present-day atmosphere, due to a lack of historical observations. Here we present a robust relationship between total present-day aerosol optical depth and the anthropogenic contribution across three multi-model ensembles and a large single-model perturbed parameter ensemble. Using observations of aerosol optical depth, we determine a reduced likely range of the anthropogenic component and hence a reduced uncertainty in the direct forcing of aerosol.

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