Volume 39 Issue 3
Apr.  2020
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Jingchun Zhang, Jian Ma, Jing Che, Zhenqiang Zhou, Guoping Gao. Surface warming patterns dominate the uncertainty in global water vapor plus lapse rate feedback[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2020, 39(3): 81-89. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1531-2
Citation: Jingchun Zhang, Jian Ma, Jing Che, Zhenqiang Zhou, Guoping Gao. Surface warming patterns dominate the uncertainty in global water vapor plus lapse rate feedback[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2020, 39(3): 81-89. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1531-2

Surface warming patterns dominate the uncertainty in global water vapor plus lapse rate feedback

doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1531-2
Funds:  The National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract No. 41675070; the Shanghai Eastern Scholar Program under contract No. TP2015049; the Expert Development Fund under contract No. 2017033; the China Scholarship Council under contract No. 201506330007.
More Information
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: Jian.Ma@SJTU.edu.cn
  • Received Date: 2019-04-28
  • Accepted Date: 2019-06-03
  • Available Online: 2020-04-21
  • Publish Date: 2020-03-25
  • Climate feedbacks have been usually estimated using changes in radiative effects associated with increased global-mean surface temperature. Feedback uncertainties, however, are not only functions of global-mean surface temperature increase. In projections by global climate models, it has been demonstrated that the geographical variation of sea surface temperature change brings significant uncertainties into atmospheric circulation and precipitation responses at regional scales. Here we show that the spatial pattern of surface warming is a major contributor to uncertainty in the combined water vapour-lapse rate feedback. This is demonstrated by computing the global-mean radiative effects of changes in air temperature and relative humidity simulated by 31 climate models using a methodology based on radiative kernels. Our results highlight the important contribution of regional climate change to the uncertainty in climate feedbacks, and identify the regions of the world where constraining surface warming patterns would be most effective for higher skill of climate projections.
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