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

Cirrus Feedback on Interannual Climate Fluctuations

TitleCirrus Feedback on Interannual Climate Fluctuations
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsZhou, Chen, Dessler Andrew E., Zelinka Mark D., Yang Ping, and Wang Tao
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume41
Number24
Pages9166-9173
Abstract / Summary

Cirrus clouds are not only important in determining the current climate, but also play an important role in climate change and variability. Analysis of satellite observations shows that the amount and altitude of cirrus clouds (cloud optical depth<3.6, cloud top pressure<440 hPa) increase in response to inter-annual surface warming. Using cirrus cloud radiative kernels, the magnitude of the inter-annual cirrus feedback is estimated to be 0.20±0.21W/m2/°C, which represents an important component of the cloud feedback. Thus, cirrus clouds are likely toact as a positive feedback on inter-annual climate fluctuations, by reducing the earth’s ability to radiate longwave radiation to space in response to planetary surface warming. Most of the cirrus feedback comes from increasing cloud amount in the tropical tropopause layer (TTL) and subtropical upper troposphere.

 

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2014GL062095
DOI10.1002/2014GL062095
Journal: Geophysical Research Letters
Year of Publication: 2014
Volume: 41
Number: 24
Pages: 9166-9173
Publication Date: 11/2014

Cirrus clouds are not only important in determining the current climate, but also play an important role in climate change and variability. Analysis of satellite observations shows that the amount and altitude of cirrus clouds (cloud optical depth<3.6, cloud top pressure<440 hPa) increase in response to inter-annual surface warming. Using cirrus cloud radiative kernels, the magnitude of the inter-annual cirrus feedback is estimated to be 0.20±0.21W/m2/°C, which represents an important component of the cloud feedback. Thus, cirrus clouds are likely toact as a positive feedback on inter-annual climate fluctuations, by reducing the earth’s ability to radiate longwave radiation to space in response to planetary surface warming. Most of the cirrus feedback comes from increasing cloud amount in the tropical tropopause layer (TTL) and subtropical upper troposphere.

 

DOI: 10.1002/2014GL062095
Citation:
Zhou, C, AE Dessler, MD Zelinka, P Yang, and T Wang.  2014.  "Cirrus Feedback on Interannual Climate Fluctuations."  Geophysical Research Letters 41(24): 9166-9173.  https://doi.org/10.1002/2014GL062095.