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Weak Hydrological Sensitivity to Temperature Change over Land, Independent of Climate ForcingWe present the global and regional hydrological sensitivity (HS) to surface temperature changes, for perturbations to CO2, CH4, sulfate and black carbon concentrations, and solar irradiance. Based on results from ten climate models, we show how modeled global mean precipitation increases by 2-3% per kelvin of global mean surface warming, independent of driver, when the effects of rapid adjustments are removed. Previously reported differences in response between drivers are therefore mainly ascribable to rapid atmospheric adjustment processes. All models show a sharp contrast in behavior over land and over ocean, with a strong surface temperature-driven (slow) ocean HS of 3-5%/K, while the slow land HS is only 0-2%/K. Separating the response into convective and large-scale cloud processes, we find larger inter-model differences, in particular over land regions. Large-scale precipitation changes are most relevant at high latitudes, while the equatorial HS is dominated by convective precipitation changes. Black carbon stands out as the driver with the largest inter-model slow HS variability, and also the strongest contrast between a weak land and strong sea response. We identify a particular need for model investigations and observational constraints on convective precipitation in the Arctic, and large-scale precipitation around the Equator.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Samset, B. H.
(Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO) Oslo, Norway)
Myhre, G.
(Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO) Oslo, Norway)
Forster, P. M.
(Leeds Univ. United Kingdom)
Hodnebrog, O.
(Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO) Oslo, Norway)
Andrews, T.
(MET Office (Meteorological Office) Exeter, United Kingdom)
Boucher, O.
(Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique Paris, France)
Faluvegi, G.
(Columbia Univ. New York, NY, United States)
Flaeschner, D.
(Max-Planck-Inst. fuer Meteorologie Hamburg, Germany)
Kasoar, M.
(Imperial Coll. of London London, United Kingdom)
Kharin, V.
(Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) Gatineau, Quebec, Canada)
Kirkevag, A.
(Norwegian Meteorological Inst. Oslo, Norway)
Lamarque, J.-F.
(National Center for Atmospheric Research Boulder, CO, United States)
Olivie, D.
(Norwegian Meteorological Inst. Oslo, Norway)
Richardson, T. B.
(Leeds Univ. United Kingdom)
Shindell, D.
(Duke Univ. Durham, NC, United States)
Takemura, T.
(Kyushu Univ. Fukuoka, Japan)
Voulgarakis, A.
(Imperial Coll. of London London, United Kingdom)
Date Acquired
February 5, 2018
Publication Date
January 9, 2018
Publication Information
Publication: npj Climate and Atmospheric Science
Publisher: Macmillan Publishers Limited
Volume: 1
e-ISSN: 2397-3722
Subject Category
Meteorology And Climatology
Report/Patent Number
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