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Fast and slow climate responses to CO2 and solar forcing: A linear multivariate regression model characterizing transient climate change

Cao, Long and Bala, Govindasamy and Zheng, Meidi and Caldeira, Ken (2015) Fast and slow climate responses to CO2 and solar forcing: A linear multivariate regression model characterizing transient climate change. In: JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-ATMOSPHERES, 120 (23).

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2015JD023901


Climate change in response to a change in external forcing can be understood in terms of fast response to the imposed forcing and slow feedback associated with surface temperature change. Previous studies have investigated the characteristics of fast response and slow feedback for different forcing agents. Here we examine to what extent that fast response and slow feedback derived from time-mean results of climate model simulations can be used to infer total climate change. To achieve this goal, we develop a multivariate regression model of climate change, in which the change in a climate variable is represented by a linear combination of its sensitivity to CO2 forcing, solar forcing, and change in global mean surface temperature. We derive the parameters of the regression model using time-mean results from a set of HadCM3L climate model step-forcing simulations, and then use the regression model to emulate HadCM3L-simulated transient climate change. Our results show that the regression model emulates well HadCM3L-simulated temporal evolution and spatial distribution of climate change, including surface temperature, precipitation, runoff, soil moisture, cloudiness, and radiative fluxes under transient CO2 and/or solar forcing scenarios. Our findings suggest that temporal and spatial patterns of total change for the climate variables considered here can be represented well by the sum of fast response and slow feedback. Furthermore, by using a simple 1-D heat-diffusion climate model, we show that the temporal and spatial characteristics of climate change under transient forcing scenarios can be emulated well using information from step-forcing simulations alone.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION, 2000 FLORIDA AVE NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20009 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Divecha Centre for Climate Change
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2016 05:33
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 13:54
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/53286

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