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1992 .

(2 publications)

Z.-X. Li and H. Le Treut. Cloud-radiation feedbacks in a general circulation model and their dependence on cloud modelling assumptions. Climate Dynamics, 7:133-139, April 1992. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The general circulation model (GCM) used in this study includes a prognostic cloud scheme and a rather detailed radiation scheme. In a preceding paper, we showed that this model was more sensitive to a global perturbation of the sea surface temperatures than most other models with similar physical parametrization. The experiments presented here show how this feature might depend on some of the cloud modelling assumptions. We have changed the temperature at which the water clouds are allowed to become ice clouds and analyzed separately the feedbacks associated with the variations of cloud cover and cloud radiative properties. We show that the feedback effect associated with cloud radiative properties is positive in one case and negative in the other. This can be explained by the elementary cloud radiative forcing and has implications concerning the use of the GCMs for climate sensitivity studies.

D. A. Randall, R. D. Cess, J. P. Blanchet, G. J. Boer, D. A. Dazlich, A. D. Del Genio, M. Deque, V. Dymnikov, V. Galin, S. J. Ghan, A. A. Lacis, H. Le Treut, Z.-X. Li, X.-Z. Liang, B. J. McAvaney, V. P. Meleshko, J. F. B. Mitchell, J.-J. Morcrette, G. L. Potter, L. Rikus, E. Roeckner, J. F. Royer, U. Schlese, D. A. Sheinin, J. Slingo, A. P. Sokolov, K. E. Taylor, W. M. Washington, R. T. Wetherald, I. Yagai, and M.-H. Zhang. Intercomparison and Interpretation of Surface Energy Fluxes in Atmospheric General Circulation Models. Journal of Geophysical Research, 97:3711-3724, March 1992. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

We have analyzed responses of the surface energy budgets and hydrologic cycles of 19 atmospheric general circulation models to an imposed, globally uniform sea surface temperature perturbation of 4 K. The responses of the simulated surface energy budgets are extremely diverse and are closely linked to the responses of the simulated hydrologic cycles. The response of the net surface energy flux is not controlled by cloud effects; instead, it is determined primarily by the response of the latent heat flux. The prescribed warming of the oceans leads to major increases in the atmospheric water vapor content and the rates of evaporation and precipitation. The increased water vapor amount drastically increases the downwelling infrared radiation at the Earth's surface, but the amount of the change varies dramatically from one model to another.

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