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Publication Date
6 August 2022

Neutral Mode Dominates the Forced Global and Regional Surface Temperature Response in the Past and Future



Using a large suite of Green's function perturbation experiments, we construct the emergent dynamical operator for surface temperature and extract the most excitable mode. The leading mode turns out to be the most dominant mode excited by the climate forcing of doubling CO2, alone capturing 56% of the total spatial variances of the surface temperature response. The pattern of the leading mode is partly organized by the atmospheric annular modes in both hemispheres, and further modulated by the feedbacks from ocean circulations. Though derived from a single model, the leading mode can capture the spatio-temporal variabilities of the global mean surface temperature over the past century in both the CMIP6 model simulations and observations. Moreover, the leading mode is most efficiently excited by radiative forcings from the midlatitude bands centered around 45°N and 25°S, where most human activities take place, suggesting the potency of human influence on the climate change. 

Liu, Fukai, Jian Lu, and L. Ruby Leung. 2022. “Neutral Mode Dominates The Forced Global And Regional Surface Temperature Response In The Past And Future”. Geophysical Research Letters 49 (15). American Geophysical Union (AGU). doi:10.1029/2022gl098788.
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