A positive feedback on high-latitude winter marine climate change involving convective clouds has recently been proposed using simple models. This feedback could help explain data from equable climates, e.g., the Eocene, and might be relevant for future climate. Here this convective cloud feedback is shown to be active in an atmospheric GCM in modern configuration (CAM) at CO2 = 2240 ppm and in a coupled GCM in Eocene configuration (CCSM) at CO2 = 560 ppm. Changes in boundary conditions that increase surface temperature have a similar effect as increases in CO2 concentration. It is also found that the high-latitude winter cloud radiative forcing over land increases with increases in surface temperature due to either increased CO2 or changes in boundary conditions, which could represent an important part of the explanation for warm continental interior winter surface temperatures during equable climates. This is due to increased low-level layered clouds caused by increased relative humidity.
equable climate, Eocene, cloud radiative forcing
Date of this Version
Abbot, Dorian S.; Huber, Matthew; Brousquet, Gabriel; and Walker, Chris C., "High-CO2 Cloud Radiative Forcing Feedback Over Both Land and Ocean in a Global Climate Model" (2009). Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences Faculty Publications. Paper 168.