Multidecadal Variability in Surface Albedo Feedback Across CMIP5 Models

Multidecadal Variability in Surface Albedo Feedback Across CMIP5 Models Previous studies quantify surface albedo feedback (SAF) in climate change, but few assess its variability on decadal time scales. Using the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Version 5 (CMIP5) multimodel ensemble data set, we calculate time evolving SAF in multiple decades from surface albedo and temperature linear regressions. Results are meaningful when temperature change exceeds 0.5 K. Decadal‐scale SAF is strongly correlated with century‐scale SAF during the 21st century. Throughout the 21st century, multimodel ensemble mean SAF increases from 0.37 to 0.42 W m−2 K−1. These results suggest that models' mean decadal‐scale SAFs are good estimates of their century‐scale SAFs if there is at least 0.5 K temperature change. Persistent SAF into the late 21st century indicates ongoing capacity for Arctic albedo decline despite there being less sea ice. If the CMIP5 multimodel ensemble results are representative of the Earth, we cannot expect decreasing Arctic sea ice extent to suppress SAF in the 21st century. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Geophysical Research Letters Wiley

Multidecadal Variability in Surface Albedo Feedback Across CMIP5 Models

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Publisher
Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
Copyright
©2018. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0094-8276
eISSN
1944-8007
D.O.I.
10.1002/2017GL076293
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Previous studies quantify surface albedo feedback (SAF) in climate change, but few assess its variability on decadal time scales. Using the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Version 5 (CMIP5) multimodel ensemble data set, we calculate time evolving SAF in multiple decades from surface albedo and temperature linear regressions. Results are meaningful when temperature change exceeds 0.5 K. Decadal‐scale SAF is strongly correlated with century‐scale SAF during the 21st century. Throughout the 21st century, multimodel ensemble mean SAF increases from 0.37 to 0.42 W m−2 K−1. These results suggest that models' mean decadal‐scale SAFs are good estimates of their century‐scale SAFs if there is at least 0.5 K temperature change. Persistent SAF into the late 21st century indicates ongoing capacity for Arctic albedo decline despite there being less sea ice. If the CMIP5 multimodel ensemble results are representative of the Earth, we cannot expect decreasing Arctic sea ice extent to suppress SAF in the 21st century.

Journal

Geophysical Research LettersWiley

Published: Jan 28, 2018

Keywords: ; ; ; ; ;

References

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