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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1159
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1159
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 27 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 27 Jan 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ACP and is expected to appear here in due course.

Response of shortwave cloud radiative effect to greenhouse gases and aerosols and its impact on daily maximum temperature

Tao Tang1, Drew Shindell1, Yuqiang Zhang1, Apostolos Voulgarakis2, Jean-Francois Lamarque3, Gunnar Myhre4, Camilla W. Stjern4, Gregory Faluvegi5,6, and Bjørn H. Samset4 Tao Tang et al.
  • 1Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
  • 2Department of Physics, Imperial College London, London, UK
  • 3National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 4CICERO, Center for International Climate and Environment Research, Oslo, Norway
  • 5Center for Climate System Research, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
  • 6NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY, USA

Abstract. Shortwave cloud radiative effects (SWCRE), defined as the difference of shortwave radiative flux between all-sky and clear-sky conditions, have been reported to play an important role in influencing the Earth’s energy budget and temperature extremes. In this study, we employed a set of global climate models to examine the SWCRE responses to CO2, black carbon (BC) aerosols and sulfate aerosols in boreal summer over the Northern Hemisphere. We found that CO2 causes positive SWCRE changes over most of the NH, and BC causes similar positive responses over North America, Europe and East China but negative SWCRE over India and tropical Africa. When normalized by effective radiative forcing, the SWCRE from BC is roughly 3–5 times larger than that from CO2. SWCRE change is mainly due to cloud cover changes resulting from the changes in relative humidity (RH) and, to a lesser extent, changes in circulation and stability. The SWCRE response to sulfate aerosols, however, is negligible compared to that for CO2 and BC. Using a multilinear regression model, it is found that mean daily maximum temperature (Tmax) increases by 0.15 K and 0.13 K per W m−2 increase in local SWCRE under the CO2 and BC experiment, respectively. When domain-averaged, the SWCRE change contribution to summer mean Tmax changes was 10–30 % under CO2 forcing and 30–50 % under BC forcing, varying by region, which can have important implications for extreme climatic events and socio-economic activities.

Tao Tang et al.

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Tao Tang et al.

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Short summary
By using climate simulations, we found that both CO2 and black carbon aerosols could reduce low-level cloud cover, which is mainly due to changes in relative humidity, circulation and staiblity. Because the impact of cloud on solar radiation is in effect only during daytime, such cloud reduction could enhance solar heating and thereby raising daily maximum temperature by 10–50 %, varying by region, which has great implications for extreme climate events and socio-economic activity.
By using climate simulations, we found that both CO2 and black carbon aerosols could reduce...
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