Contrasting fast precipitation responses to tropospheric and stratospheric ozone forcing
MacIntosh, C. R., Allan, R. P., Baker, L. H., Bellouin, N., Collins, W., Mousavi, Z. and Shine, K. P. (2016) Contrasting fast precipitation responses to tropospheric and stratospheric ozone forcing. Geophysical Research Letters, 43 (3). pp. 1263-1271. ISSN 0094-8276
To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/2015GL067231
The precipitation response to radiative forcing (RF) can be decomposed into a fast precipitation response (FPR), which depends on the atmospheric component of RF, and a slow response, which depends on surface temperature change. We present the first detailed climate model study of the FPR due to tropospheric and stratospheric ozone changes. The FPR depends strongly on the altitude of ozone change. Increases below about 3 km cause a positive FPR; increases above cause a negative FPR. The FPR due to stratospheric ozone change is, per unit RF, about 3 times larger than that due to tropospheric ozone. As historical ozone trends in the troposphere and stratosphere are opposite in sign, so too are the FPRs. Simple climate model calculations of the time-dependent total (fast and slow) precipitation change, indicate that ozone's contribution to precipitation change in 2011, compared to 1765, could exceed 50% of that due to CO2 change.