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A less cloudy future: the role of subtropical subsidence in climate sensitivity.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23139331     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
An observable constraint on climate sensitivity, based on variations in mid-tropospheric relative humidity (RH) and their impact on clouds, is proposed. We show that the tropics and subtropics are linked by teleconnections that induce seasonal RH variations that relate strongly to albedo (via clouds), and that this covariability is mimicked in a warming climate. A present-day analog for future trends is thus identified whereby the intensity of subtropical dry zones in models associated with the boreal monsoon is strongly linked to projected cloud trends, reflected solar radiation, and model sensitivity. Many models, particularly those with low climate sensitivity, fail to adequately resolve these teleconnections and hence are identifiably biased. Improving model fidelity in matching observed variations provides a viable path forward for better predicting future climate.
Authors:
John T Fasullo; Kevin E Trenberth
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Science (New York, N.Y.)     Volume:  338     ISSN:  1095-9203     ISO Abbreviation:  Science     Publication Date:  2012 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-11-09     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0404511     Medline TA:  Science     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  792-4     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80305, USA. fasullo@ucar.edu
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Comments/Corrections
Comment In:
Science. 2012 Nov 9;338(6108):755-6   [PMID:  23139323 ]

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