Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Publication Date
21 February 2018

Surface and Top-of-Atmosphere Radiative Feedback Kernels for CESM-CAM5



Radiative kernels at the top of the atmosphere are useful for decomposing changes in atmospheric radiative fluxes due to feedbacks from atmosphere and surface temperature, water vapor, and surface albedo. Here we describe and validate radiative kernels calculated with the large-ensemble version of CAM5, CESM1.1.2, at the top of the atmosphere and the surface. Estimates of the radiative forcing from greenhouse gases and aerosols in RCP8.5 in the CESM large-ensemble simulations are also diagnosed. As an application, feedbacks are calculated for the CESM large ensemble. The kernels are freely available at, and accompanying software can be downloaded from

Pendergrass, Angeline G., Andrew Conley, and Francis M. Vitt. 2018. “Surface And Top-Of-Atmosphere Radiative Feedback Kernels For Cesm-Cam5”. Earth System Science Data 10: 317-324. doi:10.5194/essd-10-317-2018.
Funding Program Area(s)