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Stratospheric water vapor feedback and its climate impacts in the coupled...

Li, F., and P. Newman (2020), Stratospheric water vapor feedback and its climate impacts in the coupled atmosphere-ocean Goddard Earth Observing System Chemistry‑Climate Model, Clim. Dyn., 13, 13, doi:10.1007/s00382-020-05348-6.

The stratospheric water vapor feedbacks on climate for abrupt ­CO2 quadrupling are investigated with the coupled atmosphere– ocean Goddard Earth Observing System Chemistry-Climate model. A feedback suppression method is used to quantify the stratospheric water vapor climate feedback parameter and the impacts of stratospheric water vapor increases on temperature and circulation. It is found that increases in stratospheric water vapor change the model’s net climate feedback parameter by 0.11 W m−2 K−1, contributing to 0.5 K, or 10%, of the global-mean surface warming under abrupt C ­ O2 quadrupling. Stratospheric water vapor increases lead to significant impacts on stratospheric temperature and dynamics. The increases induce stratospheric dynamical changes that strongly modify stratospheric cooling patterns. About 30% of the acceleration of the stratospheric Brewer-Dobson circulation under 4 × CO2 is attributed to the stratospheric water vapor increases. In the troposphere, the stratospheric water vapor feedback plays a role in Arctic amplification and is responsible for 14% of the Arctic warming. It also affects tropospheric circulation, causing greater poleward shift of the northern hemisphere tropospheric midlatitude jet.

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Modeling Analysis and Prediction Program (MAP)
Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)