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Stratospheric water vapor: an important climate feedback

Banerjee, Antara and Chiodo, Gabriel and Previdi, Michael and Ponater, Michael and Conley, Andrew J. and Polvani, L. M. (2019) Stratospheric water vapor: an important climate feedback. Climate Dynamics (53), pp. 1697-1710. Springer. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-019-04721-4 ISSN 0930-7575

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Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00382-019-04721-4

Abstract

The role of stratospheric water vapor (SWV) changes, in response to increasing CO2, as a feedback component of quantitative significance for climate sensitivity has remained controversial. Here, we calculate the SWV climate feedback under abrupt CO2 quadrupling in the CMIP5 ensemble of models. All models robustly show a moistening of the stratosphere, causing a global mean net stratosphere adjusted radiative perturbation of 0.89±0.27Wm−2 at the reference tropopause. The stratospheric temperature adjustment is a crucial component of this radiative perturbation. The associated climate feedback is 0.17±0.05Wm−2K−1, with a considerable inter-model range of 0.12–0.28 Wm−2K−1. Taking into account the rise in tropopause height under 4×CO2 slightly reduces the feedback to 0.15±0.04Wm−2K−1, with a range of 0.10–0.26Wm−2K−1. The SWV radiative perturbation peaks in the midlatitudes and not the tropics: this is due primarily to increases in SWV in the extratropical lowermost stratosphere, which cause the majority (over three quarters) of the global mean feedback. Based on these results, we suggest an increased focus on understanding drivers of water vapor trends in the extratropical lowermost stratosphere. We conclude that the SWV feedback is important, being on the same order of magnitude as the global mean surface albedo and cloud feedbacks in the multi-model mean.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/127002/
Document Type:Article
Title:Stratospheric water vapor: an important climate feedback
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Banerjee, AntaraColumbia Univ., New York, NY, USAUNSPECIFIED
Chiodo, GabrielColumbia Univ., New York, NY, USAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-8079-6314
Previdi, MichaelDoherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY, USAUNSPECIFIED
Ponater, MichaelDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9771-4733
Conley, Andrew J.NCAR, Boulder, CO, USAUNSPECIFIED
Polvani, L. M.Columbia Univ., New York, NY, USAUNSPECIFIED
Date:2019
Journal or Publication Title:Climate Dynamics
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1007/s00382-019-04721-4
Page Range:pp. 1697-1710
Publisher:Springer
Series Name:Springer Berlin Heidelberg
ISSN:0930-7575
Status:Published
Keywords:stratospheric water vapour, climate feedback, climate change, CMIP5, radiative kernel
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Transport
HGF - Program Themes:Transport System
DLR - Research area:Transport
DLR - Program:V VS - Verkehrssystem
DLR - Research theme (Project):V - Transport und Klima
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Earth System Modelling
Deposited By: Ponater, Dr.rer.nat. Michael
Deposited On:01 Apr 2019 13:21
Last Modified:23 Jul 2019 11:17

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