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Interpreting the dependence of cloud-radiative adjustment on forcing agent

Salvi, P., Ceppi, P. and Gregory, J. M. ORCID: (2021) Interpreting the dependence of cloud-radiative adjustment on forcing agent. Geophysical Research Letters, 48 (18). e2021GL093616. ISSN 0094-8276

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/2021GL093616


Effective radiative forcing includes a contribution by rapid adjustments, i.e. changes in temperature, water vapour and clouds that modify the energy budget. Cloud adjustments in particular have been shown to depend strongly on forcing agent. We perform idealised atmospheric heating experiments to demonstrate a relationship between cloud adjustment and the vertical profile of imposed radiative heating: boundary-layer heating causes a positive cloud adjustment (a net downward radiative anomaly), while free-tropospheric heating yields a negative adjustment. This dependence is dominated by the shortwave effect of changes in low clouds. Much of the variation in cloud adjustment among common forcing agents such as urn:x-wiley:00948276:media:grl62960:grl62960-math-0001, urn:x-wiley:00948276:media:grl62960:grl62960-math-0002, solar forcing, and black carbon is explained by the “characteristic altitude” (i.e. the vertical center-of-mass) of their heating profiles, through its effect on tropospheric stability.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
ID Code:99940
Publisher:American Geophysical Union


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