Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

Aquaplanets as a Framework for Examination of Aerosol Effects

TitleAquaplanets as a Framework for Examination of Aerosol Effects
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
JournalJournal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Volume12
Number7
Abstract / Summary

Although fundamental to the planetary radiative balance, aerosol impacts are highly uncertain in climate simulations because of the uneven distribution of aerosol sources and the complex interactions with radiation and clouds that are difficult to represent in climate models. This study proposes that aquaplanet configurations represent an idealized framework to investigate aerosol effects. As a simple demonstration, a series of aquaplanet simulations with the Community Atmosphere Model version 6 shows that the spatial distribution of aerosol emissions changes the aerosol effective radiative forcing even with unchanged total emissions. Some statistical properties of the simulations are presented to show that relatively short model integrations yield robust results. Much of the aerosol effect is shown to arise from aerosol‐cloud interactions, especially through rapid adjustments associated with the aerosol lifetime effect that alters the cloud optical thickness.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2019ms001874
DOI10.1029/2019ms001874
Journal: Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Year of Publication: 2020
Volume: 12
Number: 7
Publication Date: 07/2020

Although fundamental to the planetary radiative balance, aerosol impacts are highly uncertain in climate simulations because of the uneven distribution of aerosol sources and the complex interactions with radiation and clouds that are difficult to represent in climate models. This study proposes that aquaplanet configurations represent an idealized framework to investigate aerosol effects. As a simple demonstration, a series of aquaplanet simulations with the Community Atmosphere Model version 6 shows that the spatial distribution of aerosol emissions changes the aerosol effective radiative forcing even with unchanged total emissions. Some statistical properties of the simulations are presented to show that relatively short model integrations yield robust results. Much of the aerosol effect is shown to arise from aerosol‐cloud interactions, especially through rapid adjustments associated with the aerosol lifetime effect that alters the cloud optical thickness.

DOI: 10.1029/2019ms001874
Citation:
Medeiros, B.  2020.  "Aquaplanets as a Framework for Examination of Aerosol Effects."  Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 12(7).  https://doi.org/10.1029/2019ms001874.