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Interpreting Differences in Radiative Feedbacks from Aerosols Versus Greenhouse Gases
  • Pietro Salvi,
  • Paulo Ceppi,
  • Jonathan M. Gregory
Pietro Salvi
Imperial College London

Corresponding Author:pietro.salvi14@imperial.ac.uk

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Paulo Ceppi
Imperial College London
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Jonathan M. Gregory
University of Reading
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Experiments with six CMIP6 models were used to assess the climate feedback parameter for net historical, historical greenhouse gas (GHG) and anthropogenic aerosol forcings. The net radiative feedback is found to be more amplifying (higher effective climate sensitivity) for aerosol than GHG forcing, and hence also more amplifying for net historical (GHG + aerosol) than GHG only. We demonstrate that this difference is consistent with their different latitudinal distributions. Historical aerosol forcing is most pronounced in northern extratropics, where the boundary layer is decoupled from the free troposphere, so the consequent temperature change is confined to low altitude and causes low-level cloud changes. This is caused by change in stability which also affects upper-tropospheric clearsky emission, both affecting shortwave and longwave radiative feedbacks. This response is a feature of extratropical forcing generally, regardless of its sign or hemisphere.
28 Apr 2022Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 49 issue 8. 10.1029/2022GL097766