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Effects of Strongly Enhanced Atmospheric Methane Concentrations in a Chemistry-Climate Model: Rapid Adjustments and Slow Feedbacks

Stecher, Laura and Winterstein, Franziska and Dameris, Martin and Jöckel, Patrick and Ponater, Michael and Kunze, Markus (2020) Effects of Strongly Enhanced Atmospheric Methane Concentrations in a Chemistry-Climate Model: Rapid Adjustments and Slow Feedbacks. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2020, online.

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Methane (CH4) is the second most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas. Besides its direct radiative impact it induces chemical feedbacks relevant for climate and air quality. We assess the effects of doubled and fivefold present-day (year 2010) CH4 lower boundary mixing ratios on the basis of sensitivity simulations with the chemistry-climate model EMAC. We investigate rapid adjustments and slow feedbacks, and their radiative impacts, by applying prescribed oceanic conditions and a mixed layer ocean (MLO) model, respectively. In the present study we compare the changes in the MLO sensitivity simulations to the experiments with prescribed oceanic conditions (Winterstein et al., 2019). In the troposphere the increased CH4 mixing ratios cause enhanced depletion of the hydroxyl radical (OH), which further results in a prolonged CH4 lifetime. Slow feedbacks, however, dampen the lifetime increase in comparison to the rapid adjustments. OH precursors (water vapour and ozone (O3)) are more strongly increased in the MLO experiments and offset the reduction of OH. The chemical feedbacks in the stratosphere include increases of stratospheric water vapour (SWV) mixing ratios on the order of 50 % for doubled CH4, and 250 % for fivefold CH4. In the middle and upper stratosphere the increase of SWV is weaker in the experiments that include slow feedbacks. This is linked to a weaker increase of stratospheric OH and a likewise weaker strengthening of the CH4 oxidation. In the lower stratosphere slow feedbacks lead to a more pronounced increase of SWV compared to rapid adjustments enlarging its overall radiative impact. The MLO simulations show further evidence of the strengthening of the Brewer-Dobson circulation. The rapid radiative adjustments from O3 and SWV contribute significantly to the CH4 effective radiative forcing, whereas the radiative impact of the respective slow feedbacks is rather moderate. In accordance with this, the climate sensitivity from CH4 changes in this chemistry-climate model set-up is not significantly different from the climate sensitivity in CO2-driven simulations, provided that the rapid adjustments from O3 and SWV changes are included in the CH4 effective radiative forcing.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/147697/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Title:Effects of Strongly Enhanced Atmospheric Methane Concentrations in a Chemistry-Climate Model: Rapid Adjustments and Slow Feedbacks
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Winterstein, FranziskaDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2406-4936
Jöckel, PatrickDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-8964-1394
Ponater, MichaelDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9771-4733
Kunze, MarkusFU Berlin MeteorologieUNSPECIFIED
Date:December 2020
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:methane, radiative impact, chemistry-climate interaction, stratospheric ozone, stratospheric water vapour, rapid adjustments, slow climate feedbacks
Event Title:American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2020
Event Location:online
Event Type:international Conference
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: Stecher, Laura
Deposited On:17 Dec 2021 06:41
Last Modified:17 Dec 2021 06:41

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