skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Neutral modes of surface temperature and the optimal ocean thermal forcing for global cooling

Abstract

Inquiry into the climate response to external forcing perturbations has been at the center stage of climate dynamics. But the understanding of two important aspects of climate change response—nonlinearity and regionality—has progressed slowly, owing partly to the lack of a multivariate framework for quantifying forcing-response relationships. Here we develop a Green’s function approach to retrieve the linear response functions (LRFs) for both the linear and nonlinear response in a state-of-the-art climate model, whereby the most excitable temperature modes, aka the neutral modes, can be identified for the current Earth climate. The derived leading nonlinear mode is characterized by a polar-amplified global cooling pattern, unveiling an intrinsic propensity of the modern climate towards cooling. Moreover, the Maritime Continents and the eastern Australian coast are identified as locations where forcing perturbations can more effectively excite global cooling. In a solar engineering thought experiment in which the ocean heat flux is reduced everywhere, the LRF matrices skillfully predict the pattern of the temperature response simulated by the climate model. The framework developed herein can be utilized to determine the optimal forcing patterns to inform solar geoengineering experiments and to interpret regional climate response and feedback in general.

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER); National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC); National Key R&D Program of China
OSTI Identifier:
1619823
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1638485
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-144325
Journal ID: ISSN 2397-3722; 9; PII: 112
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830; 41906002; 9185821; 018YFA0605702
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
npj Climate and Atmospheric Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: npj Climate and Atmospheric Science Journal Volume: 3 Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2397-3722
Publisher:
Springer Nature
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Climate-change mitigation; projection and prediction

Citation Formats

Lu, Jian, Liu, Fukai, Leung, L. Ruby, and Lei, Huan. Neutral modes of surface temperature and the optimal ocean thermal forcing for global cooling. United Kingdom: N. p., 2020. Web. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41612-020-0112-6.
Lu, Jian, Liu, Fukai, Leung, L. Ruby, & Lei, Huan. Neutral modes of surface temperature and the optimal ocean thermal forcing for global cooling. United Kingdom. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41612-020-0112-6
Lu, Jian, Liu, Fukai, Leung, L. Ruby, and Lei, Huan. Thu . "Neutral modes of surface temperature and the optimal ocean thermal forcing for global cooling". United Kingdom. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41612-020-0112-6.
@article{osti_1619823,
title = {Neutral modes of surface temperature and the optimal ocean thermal forcing for global cooling},
author = {Lu, Jian and Liu, Fukai and Leung, L. Ruby and Lei, Huan},
abstractNote = {Inquiry into the climate response to external forcing perturbations has been at the center stage of climate dynamics. But the understanding of two important aspects of climate change response—nonlinearity and regionality—has progressed slowly, owing partly to the lack of a multivariate framework for quantifying forcing-response relationships. Here we develop a Green’s function approach to retrieve the linear response functions (LRFs) for both the linear and nonlinear response in a state-of-the-art climate model, whereby the most excitable temperature modes, aka the neutral modes, can be identified for the current Earth climate. The derived leading nonlinear mode is characterized by a polar-amplified global cooling pattern, unveiling an intrinsic propensity of the modern climate towards cooling. Moreover, the Maritime Continents and the eastern Australian coast are identified as locations where forcing perturbations can more effectively excite global cooling. In a solar engineering thought experiment in which the ocean heat flux is reduced everywhere, the LRF matrices skillfully predict the pattern of the temperature response simulated by the climate model. The framework developed herein can be utilized to determine the optimal forcing patterns to inform solar geoengineering experiments and to interpret regional climate response and feedback in general.},
doi = {10.1038/s41612-020-0112-6},
journal = {npj Climate and Atmospheric Science},
number = 1,
volume = 3,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {2020},
month = {3}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41612-020-0112-6

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Barotropic Wave Propagation and Instability, and Atmospheric Teleconnection Patterns
journal, June 1983


Response of the ITCZ to Northern Hemisphere cooling: ITCZ RESPONSE TO N. HEMISPHERE COOLING
journal, January 2006

  • Broccoli, Anthony J.; Dahl, Kristina A.; Stouffer, Ronald J.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 33, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1029/2005GL024546

The Nonlinear and Nonlocal Nature of Climate Feedbacks
journal, November 2013


Global energetics and local physics as drivers of past, present and future monsoons
journal, May 2018


Fluctuations, response, and resonances in a simple atmospheric model
journal, June 2017


Rethinking the Ocean’s Role in the Southern Oscillation
journal, August 2011

  • Clement, Amy; DiNezio, Pedro; Deser, Clara
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 24, Issue 15
  • DOI: 10.1175/2011JCLI3973.1

Towards predictive understanding of regional climate change
journal, September 2015

  • Xie, Shang-Ping; Deser, Clara; Vecchi, Gabriel A.
  • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 5, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2689

Predicting Climate Change Using Response Theory: Global Averages and Spatial Patterns
journal, April 2016

  • Lucarini, Valerio; Ragone, Francesco; Lunkeit, Frank
  • Journal of Statistical Physics, Vol. 166, Issue 3-4
  • DOI: 10.1007/s10955-016-1506-z

Sampling Errors in the Estimation of Empirical Orthogonal Functions
journal, July 1982


Projected Changes in the Seasonal Cycle of Surface Temperature
journal, September 2012


Dependence of global radiative feedbacks on evolving patterns of surface heat fluxes: FEEDBACKS AND SURFACE FLUXES
journal, September 2016

  • Rugenstein, Maria A. A.; Caldeira, Ken; Knutti, Reto
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 43, Issue 18
  • DOI: 10.1002/2016GL070907

Efficacy of climate forcings
journal, January 2005


Climate Feedbacks in CCSM3 under Changing CO 2 Forcing. Part II: Variation of Climate Feedbacks and Sensitivity with Forcing
journal, May 2013

  • Jonko, Alexandra K.; Shell, Karen M.; Sanderson, Benjamin M.
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 26, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00479.1

Toward a Dynamical Understanding of Planetary-Scale Flow Regimes
journal, June 1993


Annular Mode Variability of the Atmospheric Meridional Energy Transport and Circulation
journal, May 2015


Influence of high latitude ice cover on the marine Intertropical Convergence Zone
journal, July 2005


The Tropical Response to Extratropical Thermal Forcing in an Idealized GCM: The Importance of Radiative Feedbacks and Convective Parameterization
journal, September 2009

  • Kang, Sarah M.; Frierson, Dargan M. W.; Held, Isaac M.
  • Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 66, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1175/2009JAS2924.1

A Nonlinear Dynamical Perspective on Climate Prediction
journal, February 1999


Sensitivity of Surface Temperature to Oceanic Forcing via q -Flux Green’s Function Experiments. Part I: Linear Response Function
journal, May 2018


The Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP)
journal, January 2011

  • Kravitz, Ben; Robock, Alan; Boucher, Olivier
  • Atmospheric Science Letters, Vol. 12, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1002/asl.316

The Response of the ITCZ to Extratropical Thermal Forcing: Idealized Slab-Ocean Experiments with a GCM
journal, July 2008

  • Kang, Sarah M.; Held, Isaac M.; Frierson, Dargan M. W.
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 21, Issue 14
  • DOI: 10.1175/2007JCLI2146.1

Sensitivity of the ITCZ Location to Ocean Forcing Via Q‐Flux Green's Function Experiments
journal, December 2018

  • Harrop, Bryce E.; Lu, Jian; Liu, Fukai
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 45, Issue 23
  • DOI: 10.1029/2018GL080772

Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow
journal, March 1963


Halving warming with idealized solar geoengineering moderates key climate hazards
journal, March 2019


Stratospheric controlled perturbation experiment: a small-scale experiment to improve understanding of the risks of solar geoengineering
journal, December 2014

  • Dykema, John A.; Keith, David W.; Anderson, James G.
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol. 372, Issue 2031
  • DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2014.0059

Generalized Stability Theory. Part I: Autonomous Operators
journal, July 1996


Comparing two methods to estimate the sensitivity of regional climate simulations to tropical SST anomalies: RANDOM PATCH METHOD FOR GTO ESTIMATE
journal, October 2012

  • Li, Wei; Forest, Chris E.; Barsugli, Joseph
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 117, Issue D20
  • DOI: 10.1029/2011JD017186

The G4Foam Experiment: global climate impacts of regional ocean albedo modification
journal, January 2017

  • Gabriel, Corey J.; Robock, Alan; Xia, Lili
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 17, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-17-595-2017

An overview of the Earth system science of solar geoengineering: Overview of the earth system science of solar geoengineering
journal, July 2016

  • Irvine, Peter J.; Kravitz, Ben; Lawrence, Mark G.
  • Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, Vol. 7, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1002/wcc.423

Tropical drying trends in global warming models and observations
journal, April 2006

  • Neelin, J. D.; Munnich, M.; Su, H.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 103, Issue 16
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0601798103

State-dependent climate sensitivity in past warm climates and its implications for future climate projections
journal, August 2013

  • Caballero, R.; Huber, M.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 110, Issue 35
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1303365110

Climate feedbacks under a very broad range of forcing
journal, January 2009

  • Colman, Robert; McAvaney, Bryant
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 36, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1029/2008GL036268

Signature of recent climate change in frequencies of natural atmospheric circulation regimes
journal, April 1999

  • Corti, S.; Molteni, F.; Palmer, T. N.
  • Nature, Vol. 398, Issue 6730
  • DOI: 10.1038/19745

Northern Hemisphere Teleconnection Patterns during Extreme Phases of the Zonal-Mean Circulation
journal, October 1996


Nonlinear climate response to regional brightening of tropical marine stratocumulus: CLIMATE RESPONSE TO CLOUD BRIGHTENING
journal, August 2012


Albedo Feedback, the Meridional Structure of the Effective Heat Diffusivity, and Climatic Sensitivity: Results from Dynamic and Diffusive Models
journal, September 1981


Climate Feedbacks in CCSM3 under Changing CO 2 Forcing. Part I: Adapting the Linear Radiative Kernel Technique to Feedback Calculations for a Broad Range of Forcings
journal, August 2012

  • Jonko, Alexandra K.; Shell, Karen M.; Sanderson, Benjamin M.
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 25, Issue 15
  • DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00524.1

The Role of Oceanic Feedback in the Climate Response to Doubling CO 2
journal, November 2012


Global Atmospheric Sensitivity to Tropical SST Anomalies throughout the Indo-Pacific Basin
journal, December 2002


Atmospheric circulation as a source of uncertainty in climate change projections
journal, September 2014

  • Shepherd, Theodore G.
  • Nature Geoscience, Vol. 7, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2253

Sensitivity of Polar Amplification to Varying Insolation Conditions
journal, June 2018


Grand challenges in climate research
journal, January 2013


A New Set of Orthonormal Modes for Linearized Meteorological Problems
journal, August 1993