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Global-mean Radiative Forcing and Climate Sensitivity

PI: Markus Stowasser
Institution: University of Hawaii
Current state-of-the-art models of the climate system display a range of global climate sensitivities which differ by more than a factor of 2. This project will employ top of atmosphere (TOA) and surface data to characterize the most basic aspects of the response to prescribed climate perturbations.

In particular, the net TOA radiative flux perturbations, dR, in each year of integration will be regressed against the global average surface air temperature change, dT. Assuming that the negative radiative feedback takes the form of a linear function of dT, this regression allows a simple estimate to be made of both the global-mean radiative forcing and the global climate sensitivity. The diagnostics will be applied as well to cloudy and cloud-free regions separately. Application of these simple diagnostics to the results from full range of models in the IPCC may lead to a simple characterization of the range of model behavior to particular climate change scenarios.

The required model data are monthly means of:
- Shortwave and longwave TOA fluxes
- Shortwave and longwave clear-sky TOA fluxes
- Surface temperature
- Surface air temperature

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    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory  |  Physical & Life Sciences Directorate