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Quantifying Climate Feedbacks Using Radiative Kernels BRIAN J. SODEN
 

Summary: Quantifying Climate Feedbacks Using Radiative Kernels
BRIAN J. SODEN
Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, Florida
ISAAC M. HELD
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey
ROBERT COLMAN
Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, Melbourne, Australia
KAREN M. SHELL,* JEFFREY T. KIEHL, AND CHRISTINE A. SHIELDS
National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
(Manuscript received 19 June 2007, in final form 18 December 2007)
ABSTRACT
The extent to which the climate will change due to an external forcing depends largely on radiative
feedbacks, which act to amplify or damp the surface temperature response. There are a variety of issues that
complicate the analysis of radiative feedbacks in global climate models, resulting in some confusion re-
garding their strengths and distributions. In this paper, the authors present a method for quantifying climate
feedbacks based on "radiative kernels" that describe the differential response of the top-of-atmosphere
radiative fluxes to incremental changes in the feedback variables. The use of radiative kernels enables one
to decompose the feedback into one factor that depends on the radiative transfer algorithm and the
unperturbed climate state and a second factor that arises from the climate response of the feedback
variables. Such decomposition facilitates an understanding of the spatial characteristics of the feedbacks and

  

Source: Ackerman, Thomas P. - Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington at Seattle
NONE
Shell, Karen M. - College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Geosciences