The Relationship between Interannual and Long-Term Cloud Feedbacks
Analyses of CMIP5 simulations suggest that climate models with more positive cloud feedback in response to interannual climate fluctuations also have more positive cloud feedback in response to long-term global warming. Ensemble mean vertical profiles of cloud change in response to interannual and long-term surface warming are similar, and the ensemble mean cloud feedback is positive on both timescales. However, the average long-term cloud feedback is smaller than the inter-annual cloud feedback, likely due to differences in surface warming pattern on the two timescales. Low cloud cover (LCC) change in response to interannual and long-term global surface warming is found to be well correlated across models, and explains over half of the covariance between interannual and long-term cloud feedback. The inter-model correlation of LCC across timescales likely results from model-specific sensitivities of LCC to sea surface warming.