Publications


Quantifying the sensitivity of aerosol optical properties to the parameterizations of physico-chemical processes during the 2010 Russian wildfires and heatwave

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Copernicus GmbH 20 (2020) 9679-9700

L Palacios-Peña, P Stier, R Lorente-Plazas, P Jiménez-Guerrero

<jats:p>Abstract. The impact of aerosol–radiation and aerosol–cloud interactions on the radiative forcing is subject to large uncertainties. This is caused by the limited understanding of aerosol optical properties and the role of aerosols as cloud condensation/ice nuclei (CCN/IN). On the other hand, aerosol optical properties and vertical distribution are highly related, and their uncertainties come from different processes. This work attempts to quantify the sensitivity of aerosol optical properties (i.e. aerosol optical depth; AOD) and their vertical distribution (using the extinction coefficient, backscatter coefficient, and concentrations' species profiles) to key processes. In order to achieve this objective, sensitivity tests have been carried out, using the WRF-Chem regional fully coupled model by modifying the dry deposition, sub-grid convective transport, relative humidity, and wet scavenging. The 2010 Russian heatwave–wildfires episode has been selected as case study. Results indicate that AOD is sensitive to these key processes in the following order of importance: (1) modification of relative humidity, causing AOD differences of up to 0.6; (2) modification of vertical convection transport with AOD differences around −0.4; and (3) the dry deposition with AOD absolute differences of up to −0.35 and 0.3. Moreover, these AOD changes exhibit a nonlinear response. Both an increase and a decrease in the RH result in higher AOD values. On the other hand, both the increase and offset of the sub-grid convective transport lead to a reduction in the AOD over the fire area. In addition, a similar nonlinear response is found when reducing the dry deposition velocity; in particular, for the accumulation mode where the concentration of several species increases (while a decrease might be expected). These nonlinear responses are highly dependent on the equilibrium of the thermodynamics system sulfate–nitrate–SOA (secondary organic aerosol). In this sense, small changes in the concentration of one species can strongly affect others, finally affecting aerosol optical properties. Changes in this equilibrium could come from modifications in relative humidity, dry deposition, or vertical convective transport. By itself, dry deposition also presents a high uncertainty influencing the AOD representation. </jats:p>


An AeroCom/AeroSat study: Intercomparison of Satellite AODDatasets for Aerosol Model Evaluation

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions European Geosciences Union (2020)

N Schutgens, A Sayer, A Heckel, C Hsu, H Jethva, G de Leeuw, P Leonard, R Levy, A Lipponen, A Lyapustin, P North, T Popp, C Poulson, V Sawyer, L Sogacheva, G Thomas, O Torres, Y Wang, S Kinne, M Schulz, P Stier


Global response of parameterised convective cloud fields to anthropogenic aerosol forcing

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Copernicus GmbH 20 (2020) 4445-4460

Z Kipling, L Labbouz, P Stier

<jats:p>Abstract. The interactions between aerosols and convective clouds represent some of the greatest uncertainties in the climate impact of aerosols in the atmosphere. A wide variety of mechanisms have been proposed by which aerosols may invigorate, suppress or change the properties of individual convective clouds, some of which can be reproduced in high-resolution limited-area models. However, there may also be mesoscale, regional or global adjustments which modulate or dampen such impacts which cannot be captured in the limited domain of such models. The Convective Cloud Field Model (CCFM) provides a mechanism to simulate a population of convective clouds, complete with microphysics and interactions between clouds, within each grid column at resolutions used for global climate modelling, so that a representation of the microphysical aerosol response within each parameterised cloud type is possible. Using CCFM within the global aerosol–climate model ECHAM–HAM, we demonstrate how the parameterised cloud field responds to the present-day anthropogenic aerosol perturbation in different regions. In particular, we show that in regions with strongly forced deep convection and/or significant aerosol effects via large-scale processes, the changes in the convective cloud field due to microphysical effects are rather small; however in a more weakly forced regime such as the Caribbean, where large-scale aerosol effects are small, a signature of convective invigoration does become apparent. </jats:p>


Assessing California wintertime precipitation responses to various climate drivers

Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres American Geophysical Union 125 (2020) e2019JD031736

RJ Allen, J-F Lamarque, D Watson-Parris, D Olivie

Understanding how drivers of climate change affect precipitation remains an important area of research. Although several robust precipitation responses have been identified under continued increases in greenhouse gases (GHGs), considerable uncertainty remains. This is particularly the case at regional scales, including the West Coast of the United States and California. Here, we exploit idealized, single forcing simulations from the Precipitation Driver Response Model Intercomparison Project (PDRMIP) to address how climate drivers impact California wintertime precipitation. Consistent with recent work, GHGs including carbon dioxide and methane, as well as solar forcing, yield a robust increase in California wintertime precipitation. We also find robust California precipitation responses to aerosols but with opposite responses for sulfate versus black carbon aerosol. Sulfate aerosol increases California wintertime precipitation, whereas black carbon reduces it. Moreover, California precipitation is more sensitive to aerosols, particularly regional emissions from Europe and Asia, than to GHGs. These precipitation responses are consistent with shifts in the jet stream and altered moisture fluxes. Although the idealized nature of PDRMIP simulations precludes a formal attribution, our results suggest that aerosols can perturb precipitation and fresh water resources along the West Coast of the United States.


Overview: The CLoud-Aerosol-Radiation Interaction and Forcing: Year- 2017 (CLARIFY-2017) measurement campaign

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions European Geosciences Union (2020)

JM Haywood, SJ Abel, P Barrett, N Bellouin, M Cotterell, I Crawford, Z Curi, N Davies, B Dingley, P Field, P Formenti, H Gordon, M de Graaf, R Herbert, B Johnson, A Jones, J Langridge, F Malavelle, D Partridge, F Peers, J Reedemann, P Stier, R Wood, H Wu, P Zuidema


Reducing the aerosol forcing uncertainty using observational constraints on warm rain processes

Science Advances (2020)

J Mülmenstädt, C Nam, M Salzmann, J Kretzschmar, TS L’Ecuyer, U Lohmann, P-L Ma, G Myhre, D Neubauer, P STIER, K Suzuki, M Wang, J Quaas


The Southern Hemisphere Midlatitude Circulation Response to Rapid Adjustments and Sea Surface Temperature Driven Feedbacks

Journal of Climate American Meteorological Society 33 (2020) 9673-9690

T Wood, AC Maycock, PM Forster, TB Richardson, T Andrews, O Boucher, G Myhre, BH Samset, A Kirkevåg, J-F Lamarque, J Mülmenstädt, D Olivié, T Takemura, D Watson-Parris

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title> <jats:p>Rapid adjustments—the response of meteorology to external forcing while sea surface temperatures (SST) and sea ice are held fixed—can affect the midlatitude circulation and contribute to long-term forced circulation responses in climate simulations. This study examines rapid adjustments in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) circulation using nine models from the Precipitation Driver and Response Model Intercomparison Project (PDRMIP), which perform fixed SST and coupled ocean experiments for five perturbations: a doubling of carbon dioxide (2xCO2), a tripling of methane (3xCH4), a fivefold increase in sulfate aerosol (5xSO4), a tenfold increase in black carbon aerosol (10xBC), and a 2% increase in solar constant (2%Sol). In the coupled experiments, the SH eddy-driven jet shifts poleward and strengthens for forcings that produce global warming (and vice versa for 5xSO4), with the strongest response found in austral summer. In austral winter, the responses project more strongly onto a change in jet strength. For 10xBC, which induces strong shortwave absorption, the multimodel mean (MMM) rapid adjustment in DJF jet latitude is ~75% of the change in the coupled simulations. For the other forcings, which induce larger SST changes, the effect of SST-mediated feedbacks on the SH circulation is larger than the rapid adjustment. Nevertheless, for these perturbations the magnitude of the MMM jet shift due to the rapid adjustment is still around 20%–30% of that in the coupled experiments. The results demonstrate the need to understand the mechanisms for rapid adjustments in the midlatitude circulation, in addition to the effect of changing SSTs.</jats:p>


Aerosols enhance cloud lifetime and brightness along the stratus-to-cumulus transition

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences National Acad Sciences 117 (2020) 30

MW Christensen, WK Jones, P Stier


Diurnal cycle of the semi-direct effect from a persistent absorbing aerosol layer over marine stratocumulus in large-eddy simulations

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics European Geosciences Union 20 (2020) 1317-1340

R Herbert, N Bellouin, E Highwood, A Hill

<p>The rapid adjustment, or semi-direct effect, of marine stratocumulus clouds to elevated layers of absorbing aerosols may enhance or dampen the radiative effect of aerosol&ndash;radiation interactions. Here we use large-eddy simulations to investigate the sensitivity of stratocumulus clouds to the properties of an absorbing aerosol layer located above the inversion layer, with a focus on the location, timing, and strength of the radiative heat perturbation. The sign of the daily mean semi-direct effect depends on the properties and duration of the aerosol layer, the properties of the boundary layer, and the model setup. Our results suggest that the daily mean semi-direct effect is more elusive than previously assessed. We find that the daily mean semi-direct effect is dominated by the distance between the cloud and absorbing aerosol layer. Within the first 24&thinsp;h the semi-direct effect is positive but remains under 2&thinsp;W&thinsp;m<sup>&minus;2</sup>&nbsp;unless the aerosol layer is directly above the cloud. For longer durations, the daily mean semi-direct effect is consistently negative but weakens by 30&thinsp;%, 60&thinsp;%, and 95&thinsp;% when the distance between the cloud and aerosol layer is 100, 250, and 500&thinsp;m, respectively. Both the cloud response and semi-direct effect increase for thinner and denser layers of absorbing aerosol. Considerable diurnal variations in the cloud response mean that an instantaneous semi-direct effect is unrepresentative of the daily mean and that observational studies may underestimate or overestimate semi-direct effects depending on the observed time of day. The cloud response is particularly sensitive to the mixing state of the boundary layer: well-mixed boundary layers generally result in a negative daily mean semi-direct effect, and poorly mixed boundary layers result in a positive daily mean semi-direct effect. The properties of the boundary layer and model setup, particularly the sea surface temperature, precipitation, and properties of the air entrained from the free troposphere, also impact the magnitude of the semi-direct effect and the timescale of adjustment. These results suggest that the semi-direct effect simulated by coarse-resolution models may be erroneous because the cloud response is sensitive to small-scale processes, especially the sources and sinks of buoyancy.</p>


Quantifying cloud adjustments and the radiative forcing due to aerosol–cloud interactions in satellite observations of warm marine clouds

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Copernicus GmbH 20 (2020) 10

A Douglas, T L’Ecuyer


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.


The hemispheric contrast in cloud microphysical properties constrains aerosol forcing

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Sciences 117 (2020) 18998-19006

IL McCoy, D McCoy, R Wood, L Regayre, D Watson-Parris, DP Grosvenor, JP Mulcahy, Y Hu, FAM Bender, PR Field, KS Carslaw, H Gordon

The change in planetary albedo due to aerosol−cloud interactions during the industrial era is the leading source of uncertainty in inferring Earth’s climate sensitivity to increased greenhouse gases from the historical record. The variable that controls aerosol−cloud interactions in warm clouds is droplet number concentration. Global climate models demonstrate that the present-day hemispheric contrast in cloud droplet number concentration between the pristine Southern Hemisphere and the polluted Northern Hemisphere oceans can be used as a proxy for anthropogenically driven change in cloud droplet number concentration. Remotely sensed estimates constrain this change in droplet number concentration to be between 8 cm−3 and 24 cm−3. By extension, the radiative forcing since 1850 from aerosol−cloud interactions is constrained to be −1.2 W⋅m−2 to −0.6 W⋅m−2. The robustness of this constraint depends upon the assumption that pristine Southern Ocean droplet number concentration is a suitable proxy for preindustrial concentrations. Droplet number concentrations calculated from satellite data over the Southern Ocean are high in austral summer. Near Antarctica, they reach values typical of Northern Hemisphere polluted outflows. These concentrations are found to agree with several in situ datasets. In contrast, climate models show systematic underpredictions of cloud droplet number concentration across the Southern Ocean. Near Antarctica, where precipitation sinks of aerosol are small, the underestimation by climate models is particularly large. This motivates the need for detailed process studies of aerosol production and aerosol−cloud interactions in pristine environments. The hemispheric difference in satellite estimated cloud droplet number concentration implies preindustrial aerosol concentrations were higher than estimated by most models.


Cloudy-sky contributions to the direct aerosol effect

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Copernicus GmbH 20 (2020) 8855-8865

G Myhre, BH Samset, CW Mohr, K Alterskjær, Y Balkanski, N Bellouin, M Chin, J Haywood, Ø Hodnebrog, S Kinne, G Lin, MT Lund, JE Penner, M Schulz, N Schutgens, RB Skeie, P Stier, T Takemura, K Zhang

&lt;jats:p&gt;Abstract. The radiative forcing of the aerosol&#x2013;radiation interaction can be decomposed into clear-sky and cloudy-sky portions. Two sets of multi-model simulations within Aerosol Comparisons between Observations and Models (AeroCom), combined with observational methods, and the time evolution of aerosol emissions over the industrial era show that the contribution from cloudy-sky regions is likely weak. A mean of the simulations considered is 0.01&#xB1;0.1&#x2009;W&#x2009;m&#x2212;2. Multivariate data analysis of results from AeroCom Phase&#xA0;II shows that many factors influence the strength of the cloudy-sky contribution to the forcing of the aerosol&#x2013;radiation interaction. Overall, single-scattering albedo of anthropogenic aerosols and the interaction of aerosols with the short-wave cloud radiative effects are found to be important factors. A more dedicated focus on the contribution from the cloud-free and cloud-covered sky fraction, respectively, to the aerosol&#x2013;radiation interaction will benefit the quantification of the radiative forcing and its uncertainty range. &lt;/jats:p&gt;


Bounding global aerosol radiative forcing of climate change

Reviews of Geophysics American Geophysical Union 58 (2019) e2019RG000660

N Bellouin, J Quaas, S Kinne, P Stier, D Watson-Parris, O Boucher, KS Carslaw, M Christensen, A-L Daniau, JL Dufresne, G Feingold, S Fiedler, P Forster, A Gettelman, JM Haywood, U Lohmann, F Malavelle, T Mauritsen, DT McCoy, G Myhre, J Muelmenstaedt, A Possner, M Rugenstein, O Sourdeval, V Toll

Aerosols interact with radiation and clouds. Substantial progress made over the past 40 years in observing, understanding, and modeling these processes helped quantify the imbalance in the Earth's radiation budget caused by anthropogenic aerosols, called aerosol radiative forcing, but uncertainties remain large. This review provides a new range of aerosol radiative forcing over the industrial era based on multiple, traceable, and arguable lines of evidence, including modeling approaches, theoretical considerations, and observations. Improved understanding of aerosol absorption and the causes of trends in surface radiative fluxes constrain the forcing from aerosol‐radiation interactions. A robust theoretical foundation and convincing evidence constrain the forcing caused by aerosol‐driven increases in liquid cloud droplet number concentration. However, the influence of anthropogenic aerosols on cloud liquid water content and cloud fraction is less clear, and the influence on mixed‐phase and ice clouds remains poorly constrained. Observed changes in surface temperature and radiative fluxes provide additional constraints. These multiple lines of evidence lead to a 68% confidence interval for the total aerosol effective radiative forcing of ‐1.6 to ‐0.6 W m−2, or ‐2.0 to ‐0.4 W m−2 with a 90% likelihood. Those intervals are of similar width to the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment but shifted toward more negative values. The uncertainty will narrow in the future by continuing to critically combine multiple lines of evidence, especially those addressing industrial‐era changes in aerosol sources and aerosol effects on liquid cloud amount and on ice clouds.


Constraining the Twomey effect from satellite observations: issues and perspectives

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions European Geosciences Union (2020)

J Quaas, A Antti, B Cairns, M Christensen, H Deneke, AML Ekman, G Feingold, A Fridlind, E Gryspeerdt, O Hasekamp, Z Li, A Lipponen, P-L Ma, J Muelmenstaedt, A Nenes, J Penner, D Rosenfeld, R Schroedner, K Sinclair, O Sourdeval, P Stier, M Tesche, B van Dieedenhoven, M Wendisch

The Twomey effect describes the radiative forcing associated with a change in cloud albedo due to an increase in anthropogenic aerosol emissions. It is driven by the perturbation in cloud droplet number concentration (ΔNd,ant) in liquid-water clouds and is currently understood to exert a cooling effect on climate. The Twomey effect is the key driver in the effective radiative forcing due to aerosol–cloud interactions which also comprises rapid adjustments. These adjustments are essentially the responses of cloud fraction and liquid water path to ΔNd,ant and thus scale approximately with it. While the fundamental physics of the influence of added aerosol particles on the droplet concentration (Nd) is well described by established theory at the particle scale (micrometres), how this relationship is expressed at the large scale (hundreds of kilometres) ΔNd,ant remains uncertain. The discrepancy between process understanding at particle scale and insufficient quantification at the climate-relevant large scale is caused by co-variability of aerosol particles and vertical wind and by droplet sink processes. These operate at scales on the order of 10s of metres at which only localized observations are available and at which no approach exists yet to quantify the anthropogenic perturbation. Different atmospheric models suggest diverse magnitudes of the Twomey effect even when applying the same anthropogenic aerosol emission perturbation. Thus, observational data are needed to quantify and constrain the Twomey effect. At the global scale, this means satellite data. There are three key uncertainties in determining ΔNd,ant, namely the quantification (i) of the cloud-active aerosol – the cloud condensation nuclei concentrations (CCN) at or above cloud base –, (ii) of Nd, as well as (iii) the statistical approach for inferring the sensitivity of Nd to aerosol particles from the satellite data. A fourth uncertainty, the anthropogenic perturbation to CCN concentrations, is also not easily accessible from observational data. This review discusses deficiencies of current approaches for the different aspects of the problem and proposes several ways forward: In terms of CCN, retrievals of optical quantities such as aerosol optical depth suffer from a lack of vertical resolution, size and hygroscopicity information, the non-direct relation to the concentration of aerosols, the impossibility to quantify it within or below clouds, and the problem of insufficient sensitivity at low concentrations, in addition to retrieval errors. A future path forward can include utilizing colocated polarimeter and lidar instruments, ideally including high spectral resolution lidar capability at two wavelengths to maximize vertically resolved size distribution information content. In terms of Nd, a key problem is the lack of operational retrievals of this quantity, and the inaccuracy of the retrieval especially in broken-cloud regimes. As for the Nd – to – CCN sensitivity, key issues are the updraught distributions and the role of Nd sink processes, for which empirical assessments for specific cloud regimes are currently the best solutions. These considerations point to the conclusion that past studies using existing approaches have likely underestimated the true sensitivity and, thus, the radiative forcing due to the Twomey effect.


The significant role of biomass burning aerosols in clouds and radiation in the South-eastern Atlantic Ocean

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Copernicus Publications (2020)

H Che, P Stier, H Gordon, D Watson-Parris, L Deaconu

The South-eastern Atlantic Ocean (SEA) is semi-permanently covered by one of the most extensive stratocumulus cloud decks on the planet and experiences about one-third of the global biomass burning emissions from the southern Africa savannah region during the fire season. To get a better understanding of the impact of these biomass burning aerosols on clouds and radiation balance over the SEA, the latest generation of the UK Earth System Model (UKESM1) is employed. Measurements from the CLARIFY and ORACLES flight campaigns are used to evaluate the model, demonstrating that the model has good skill in reproducing the biomass burning plume. To investigate the underlying mechanisms in detail, the effects of biomass burning aerosols on the clouds are decomposed into radiative effects (via absorption and scattering) and microphysical effects (via perturbation of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and cloud microphysical processes). The July–August means are used to characterise aerosols, clouds and the radiation balance during the fire season. Results show around 68 % of CCN at 0.2 % supersaturation in the SEA domain can be attributed to biomass burning. The absorption effect of biomass burning aerosols is the most significant in affecting clouds and radiation. Near the continent it increases the maximum supersaturation diagnosed by the activation scheme, while further from the continent it reduces the altitude of the maximum supersaturation. As a result, the cloud droplet number concentration shows a similar pattern. The microphysical effect of biomass burning aerosols decreases the maximum supersaturation and increases the cloud droplets concentration over the ocean; however, this change is relatively small. The liquid water path is also significantly increased over the SEA (mainly caused by the absorption effect of biomass burning aerosols) when biomass burning aerosols are above the stratocumulus cloud deck. The microphysical pathways lead to a slight increase in the liquid water path over the ocean. These changes in cloud properties indicate the significant role of biomass burning aerosols on clouds in this region. Among the effects of biomass burning aerosols on radiation balance, the semi-direct radiative effects (rapid adjustments induced by biomass burning aerosols radiative effects) have a dominant cooling impact over the SEA, which offset the warming direct radiative effect (radiative forcing from biomass burning aerosol–radiation interactions). However, the magnitude and the sign of the semi-direct effects are dependent on the relative location of biomass burning aerosols and clouds. The net biomass burning aerosols radiative effect shows a negative cooling effect in the SEA, indicating the significant role of biomass burning aerosols in affecting the regional radiation balance and climate.


Up to two billion times acceleration of scientific simulations with deep neural architecture search

CoRR abs/2001.08055 (2020)

MF Kasim, D Watson-Parris, L Deaconu, S Oliver, P Hatfield, DH Froula, G Gregori, M Jarvis, S Khatiwala, J Korenaga, J Topp-Mugglestone, E Viezzer, SM Vinko

Computer simulations are invaluable tools for scientific discovery. However, accurate simulations are often slow to execute, which limits their applicability to extensive parameter exploration, large-scale data analysis, and uncertainty quantification. A promising route to accelerate simulations by building fast emulators with machine learning requires large training datasets, which can be prohibitively expensive to obtain with slow simulations. Here we present a method based on neural architecture search to build accurate emulators even with a limited number of training data. The method successfully accelerates simulations by up to 2 billion times in 10 scientific cases including astrophysics, climate science, biogeochemistry, high energy density physics, fusion energy, and seismology, using the same super-architecture, algorithm, and hyperparameters. Our approach also inherently provides emulator uncertainty estimation, adding further confidence in their use. We anticipate this work will accelerate research involving expensive simulations, allow more extensive parameters exploration, and enable new, previously unfeasible computational discovery.


Atmospheric energy budget response to idealized aerosol perturbation in tropical cloud systems

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Copernicus GmbH 20 (2020) 4523-4544

G Dagan, P Stier, M Christensen, G Cioni, D Klocke, A Seifert

<jats:p>Abstract. The atmospheric energy budget is analysed in numerical simulations of tropical cloud systems to better understand the physical processes behind aerosol effects on the atmospheric energy budget. The simulations include both shallow convective clouds and deep convective tropical clouds over the Atlantic Ocean. Two different sets of simulations, at different dates (10–12 and 16–18 August 2016), are simulated with different dominant cloud modes (shallow or deep). For each case, the cloud droplet number concentration (CDNC) is varied as a proxy for changes in aerosol concentrations without considering the temporal evolution of the aerosol concentration (for example due to wet scavenging, which may be more important under deep convective conditions). It is shown that the total column atmospheric radiative cooling is substantially reduced with CDNC in the deep-cloud-dominated case (by ∼10.0 W m−2), while a much smaller reduction (∼1.6 W m−2) is shown in the shallow-cloud-dominated case. This trend is caused by an increase in the ice and water vapour content at the upper troposphere that leads to a reduced outgoing longwave radiation, an effect which is stronger under deep-cloud-dominated conditions. A decrease in sensible heat flux (driven by an increase in the near-surface air temperature) reduces the warming by ∼1.4 W m−2 in both cases. It is also shown that the cloud fraction response behaves in opposite ways to an increase in CDNC, showing an increase in the deep-cloud-dominated case and a decrease in the shallow-cloud-dominated case. This demonstrates that under different environmental conditions the response to aerosol perturbation could be different. </jats:p>


Effects of aerosol in simulations of realistic shallow cumulus cloud fields in a large domain

ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS 19 (2019) 13507-13517

G Spill, P Stier, PR Field, G Dagan


Efficacy of climate forcings in PDRMIP models

Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres American Geophysical Union 124 (2019) 12824-12844

TB Richardson, PM Forster, CJ Smith, AC Maycock, T Wood, T Andrews, O Boucher, G Faluvegi, D Flaeschner, O Hodnebrog, M Kasoar, A Kirkevåg, J-F Lamarque, J Mülmenstädt, G Myhre, D Olivié, RW Portmann, BH Samset, D Shawki, D Shindell, P Stier, T Takemura, A Voulgarakis, D Watson-Parris

Quantifying the efficacy of different climate forcings is important for understanding the real‐world climate sensitivity. This study presents a systematic multi‐model analysis of different climate driver efficacies using simulations from the Precipitation Driver and Response Model Intercomparison Project (PDRMIP). Efficacies calculated from instantaneous radiative forcing deviate considerably from unity across forcing agents and models. Effective radiative forcing (ERF) is a better predictor of global mean near‐surface air temperature (GSAT) change. Efficacies are closest to one when ERF is computed using fixed sea surface temperature experiments and adjusted for land surface temperature changes using radiative kernels. Multi‐model mean efficacies based on ERF are close to one for global perturbations of methane, sulphate, black carbon and insolation, but there is notable inter‐model spread. We do not find robust evidence that the geographic location of sulphate aerosol affects its efficacy. GSAT is found to respond more slowly to aerosol forcing than CO2 in the early stages of simulations. Despite these differences, we find that there is no evidence for an efficacy effect on historical GSAT trend estimates based on simulations with an impulse response model, nor on the resulting estimates of climate sensitivity derived from the historical period. However, the considerable intermodel spread in the computed efficacies means that we cannot rule out an efficacy‐induced bias of ±0.4 K in equilibrium climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling (ECS) when estimated using the historical GSAT trend.

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