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Is there a robust effect of anthropogenic aerosols on the Southern Annular Mode?

Steptoe, H., Wilcox, L. J. and Highwood, E. J. (2016) Is there a robust effect of anthropogenic aerosols on the Southern Annular Mode? Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121 (17). 10,029-10,042. ISSN 2169-8996

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/2015JD024218

Abstract/Summary

Historical anthropogenic aerosol (AA) changes are found to have caused a statistically significant negative Southern Annular Mode (SAM) trend (associated with an equatorward jet shift) in 14 out of 35 individual CMIP5 ensemble members since 1860. However, this response is not robust. The significance of the SAM response to aerosol is model dependent and not simply related to aerosol forcing. Multiple sources of uncertainty result in a non-robust response that means that the model mechanism connecting remote northern hemisphere AA forcing remains unclear. Analysis of single forcing experiments suggests that assuming the climate response to individual model forcings to be linearly additive cannot be made without proper assessment. Our results suggest that AAs may have had a historical influence on the SAM, but its influence may be overstated by assuming linearity.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:66205
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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