AbstractThis study examines at process-level the climate difference between 2002-13 and 1984-1995 in the ERA-Interim reanalysis. We use a linearized radiative transfer model to calculate the temperature change such that its thermal radiative cooling would balance the energy flux perturbation associated with the change of an individual process, without concerning what causes the change of the process in the first place. The global mean error of the offline radiative transfer model calculations is 0.09 K, which corresponds to the upper limit of the uncertainties from a single term in our decomposition analysis.The process-based decomposition indicates that the direct effect of the increase of CO2 (0.15 K) is the largest contributor to the global warming between the two periods (about 0.27 K). The second and third largest contributors are the cloud feedback (0.14 K) and the combined effect of the oceanic heat storage and evaporation terms (0.11 K), respectively. The largest warming associated with the oceanic heat storage term is found in the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans with relatively weaker warming over the tropical Atlantic Ocean. The increase in atmospheric moisture adds another 0.1 K to the global surface warming but the enhancement in tropical convections acts to reduce the surface warming by 0.17 K. The ice-albedo and atmospheric dynamical feedbacks are the two leading factors responsible for the Arctic polar warming amplification (PWA). The increase of atmospheric water vapor over the Arctic region also contributes substantially to the Arctic PWA pattern.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Mar 2, 2017
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