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Publication Date
24 January 2022

Spurious Late Historical‐Era Warming in CESM2 Driven by Prescribed Biomass Burning Emissions



A spurious increase in the interannual variability of prescribed biomass burning (BB) emissions in the CMIP6 forcing database during the satellite era of wildfire monitoring (1997–2014) is found to lead to warming in the Northern Hemisphere extratropics in simulations with the Community Earth System Model version 2 (CESM2). Using targeted sensitivity experiments with the CESM2 in which prescribed BB emissions are homogenized and variability is removed, we show that the warming is specifically attributable to BB variability from 40° to 70°N and arises from a net thinning of the cloud field and an associated increase in absorbed solar radiation. Our results also demonstrate the potential pitfalls of introducing discontinuities in climate forcing data sets when trying to incorporate novel observations.

Fasullo, J. T., Jean‐Francois Lamarque, Cecile Hannay, Nan A Rosenbloom, Simone Tilmes, Patricia DeRepentigny, Alexandra Jahn, and Clara Deser. 2022. “Spurious Late Historical‐Era Warming In Cesm2 Driven By Prescribed Biomass Burning Emissions”. Geophysical Research Letters 49 (2). American Geophysical Union (AGU). doi:10.1029/2021gl097420.
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