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Publication Date
24 January 2024

Larger Cloud Liquid Water Enhances Both Aerosol Indirect Forcing and Cloud Radiative Feedback in Two Earth System Models



Previous studies have noticed that the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) models with a stronger cooling from aerosol‐cloud interactions (ACI) also have an enhanced warming from positive cloud feedback, and these two opposing effects are counter‐balanced in simulations of the historical period. However, reasons for this anti‐correlation are less explored. In this study, we perturb the cloud ice microphysical processes to obtain cloud liquid of varying amounts in two Earth System Models (ESMs). We find that the model simulations with a larger liquid water path (LWP) tend to have a stronger cooling from ACI and a stronger positive cloud feedback. More liquid clouds in the mean‐state present more opportunities for anthropogenic aerosol perturbations and also weaken the negative cloud feedback at middle to high latitudes. This work, from a cloud state perspective, emphasizes the influence of the mean‐state LWP on effective radiative forcing due to ACI (ERFACI).

Zhao, Xi, Xiaohong Liu, Lin Lin, Yi Qin, Mark D. Zelinka, Stephen A. Klein, Meng Zhang, et al. 2024. “Larger Cloud Liquid Water Enhances Both Aerosol Indirect Forcing And Cloud Radiative Feedback In Two Earth System Models”. Geophysical Research Letters 51 (2). American Geophysical Union (AGU). doi:10.1029/2023gl105529.
Funding Program Area(s)
Additional Resources:
NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center)