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Title: Mechanism of Fast Atmospheric Energetic Equilibration Following Radiative Forcing by CO 2

Abstract

In energetic equilibrium, the atmosphere's net radiative divergence (R) is balanced by sensible (S) and latent (L) heat fluxes, i.e., R+S+L=0. Radiative forcing from increasing CO 2 reduces R, and the surface warming following an increase in CO 2 is largely due to the reduction in atmospheric energy demand in S and L, with only a smaller surface radiative budget perturbation. With an idealized General Circulation Model, we show that the fast atmospheric adjustment at fixed surface temperature produces the required decrease in the sum of S and L through changes in the near-surface temperature and specific humidity. In layers near the surface, the reduced radiative cooling forces a temperature increase that leads to a negative Planck radiative feedback and, because of the reduced surface-atmosphere temperature difference, also to a reduction in sensible heat flux. In the free troposphere, the reduced radiative cooling leads to a weakening of the tropospheric circulation. Consequently, there is a decrease in the water flux exported from the layers near the surface, and as such in precipitation. By mass conservation, the near-surface specific humidity increases and surface evaporation decreases until it balances the reduced export flux. Other processes can amplify or dampen the responses inmore » S and L and change the partitioning between these two fluxes, but by themselves do not ensure R+L+S=0.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Univ. of Auckland (New Zealand). Dept. of Physics; Princeton Univ., NJ (United States). Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
  2. Princeton Univ., NJ (United States). Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Dept. of Geosciences
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Princeton Univ., NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1408246
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1408247; OSTI ID: 1511565
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0006841; AGS-1417659
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 1942-2466
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CO2 forcing; hydrological cycle; atmospheric circulation; fast atmospheric adjustment

Citation Formats

Dinh, T., and Fueglistaler, S. Mechanism of Fast Atmospheric Energetic Equilibration Following Radiative Forcing by CO2. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1002/2017ms001116.
Dinh, T., & Fueglistaler, S. Mechanism of Fast Atmospheric Energetic Equilibration Following Radiative Forcing by CO2. United States. doi:10.1002/2017ms001116.
Dinh, T., and Fueglistaler, S. Mon . "Mechanism of Fast Atmospheric Energetic Equilibration Following Radiative Forcing by CO2". United States. doi:10.1002/2017ms001116.
@article{osti_1408246,
title = {Mechanism of Fast Atmospheric Energetic Equilibration Following Radiative Forcing by CO2},
author = {Dinh, T. and Fueglistaler, S.},
abstractNote = {In energetic equilibrium, the atmosphere's net radiative divergence (R) is balanced by sensible (S) and latent (L) heat fluxes, i.e., R+S+L=0. Radiative forcing from increasing CO2 reduces R, and the surface warming following an increase in CO2 is largely due to the reduction in atmospheric energy demand in S and L, with only a smaller surface radiative budget perturbation. With an idealized General Circulation Model, we show that the fast atmospheric adjustment at fixed surface temperature produces the required decrease in the sum of S and L through changes in the near-surface temperature and specific humidity. In layers near the surface, the reduced radiative cooling forces a temperature increase that leads to a negative Planck radiative feedback and, because of the reduced surface-atmosphere temperature difference, also to a reduction in sensible heat flux. In the free troposphere, the reduced radiative cooling leads to a weakening of the tropospheric circulation. Consequently, there is a decrease in the water flux exported from the layers near the surface, and as such in precipitation. By mass conservation, the near-surface specific humidity increases and surface evaporation decreases until it balances the reduced export flux. Other processes can amplify or dampen the responses in S and L and change the partitioning between these two fluxes, but by themselves do not ensure R+L+S=0.},
doi = {10.1002/2017ms001116},
journal = {Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems},
number = 7,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {9}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1002/2017ms001116

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 1 work
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