A transient climate change simulation with greenhouse gas and aerosol forcing: projected climate to the twenty-first century View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

2000-06

AUTHORS

G. J. Boer, G. Flato, D. Ramsden

ABSTRACT

The potential climatic consequences of increasing atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentration and sulfate aerosol loading are investigated for the years 1900 to 2100 based on five simulations with the CCCma coupled climate model. The five simulations comprise a control experiment without change in GHG or aerosol amount, three independent simulations with increasing GHG and aerosol forcing, and a simulation with increasing GHG forcing only. Climate warming accelerates from the present with global mean temperatures simulated to increase by 1.7 °C to the year 2050 and by a further 2.7 °C by the year 2100. The warming is non-uniform as to hemisphere, season, and underlying surface. Changes in interannual variability of temperature show considerable structure and seasonal dependence. The effect of the comparatively localized negative radiative forcing associated with the aerosol is to retard and reduce the warming by about 0.9 °C at 2050 and 1.2 °C at 2100. Its primary effect on temperature is to counteract the global pattern of GHG-induced warming and only secondarily to affect local temperatures suggesting that the first order transient climate response of the system is determined by feedback processes and only secondarily by the local pattern of radiative forcing. The warming is accompanied by a more active hydrological cycle with increases in precipitation and evaporation rates that are delayed by comparison with temperature increases. There is an “El Nino-like” shift in precipitation and an overall increase in the interannual variability of precipitation. The effect of the aerosol forcing is again primarily to delay and counteract the GHG-induced increase. Decreases in soil moisture are common but regionally dependent and interannual variability changes show considerable structure. Snow cover and sea-ice retreat. A PNA-like anomaly in mean sea-level pressure with an enhanced Aleutian low in northern winter is associated with the tropical shift in precipitation regime. The interannual variability of mean sea-level pressure generally decreases with largest decreases in the tropical Indian ocean region. Changes to the ocean thermal structure are associated with a spin-down of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation together with a decrease in its variability. The effect of aerosol forcing, although modest, differs from that for most other quantities in that it does not act primarily to counteract the GHG forcing effect. The barotropic stream function in the ocean exhibits modest change in the north Pacific but accelerating changes in much of the Southern Ocean and particularly in the north Atlantic where the gyre spins down in conjunction with the decrease in the thermohaline circulation. The results differ in non-trivial ways from earlier equilibrium 2 × CO2 results with the CCCma model as a consequence of the coupling to a fully three-dimensional ocean model and the evolving nature of the forcing. More... »

PAGES

427-450

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s003820050338

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s003820050338

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1001888545


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