Examining the sensitivity of Earth's climate to the removal of ozone, landmasses and enhanced ocean heat transport in the GENESIS global climate model

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Abstract

This paper examines the cloud radiative forcing and its impacts on the surface climate for global climate model simulations that use reduced ozone concentrations and land fractions as boundary conditions. In one simulation using present-day land continents, ozone concentrations are reduced to zero and compared to the present-day climate simulation. In the second set of simulations under global ocean conditions, the implied poleward transport of heat by the ocean is varied. The removal of ozone causes an increase in longwave cloud radiative forcing at the top of the atmosphere and the surface. The increase in longwave forcing melts sea-ice and snow at high latitudes leading 10-14°C warmer temperatures and globally a 2°C increase. The global ocean simulations lead to higher cloud fractions than present-day simulation. Without poleward transport of heat by the ocean, surface temperatures cool as a result of higher cloud fractions. Increasing the ocean heat transport by a factor of 3.33 brings about ice-free conditions. An 11°C difference in globally averaged surface air temperatures is found between the enhanced and zero poleward oceanic heat transport simulations. The longwave cloud radiative forcing from high cloud fractions enhance the surface warming in the polar regions during the winter season. Conversely, during the summer season, a high cloud fraction increases the shortwave cloud radiative forcing producing only moderately warm temperatures in the polar regions. High cloud fractions in polar regions during warm periods throughout geologic times may help to explain the reduced equator to pole temperature gradient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-279
Number of pages23
JournalGlobal and Planetary Change
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Oceanography

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