Publication Abstracts

Bauer et al. 2022

Bauer, S.E., K. Tsigaridis, G. Faluvegi, L. Nazarenko, R.L. Miller, M. Kelley, and G. Schmidt, 2022: The turning point of the aerosol era. J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst., 14, no. 12, e2022MS003070, doi:10.1029/2022MS003070.

Over the CMIP6 historical period (1850-2014), aerosols provided the largest negative forcing compared to all other climate forcings via their ability to absorb or scatter solar radiation and alter clouds. Aerosols played an important role in counterbalancing warming by greenhouse gases (GHGs). Here we study aerosol forcing trends in the CMIP6 simulations of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) ocean-atmosphere ModelE version 2.1 (GISS-E2.1-G) using a fully coupled atmospheric composition configuration, including interactive gas-phase chemistry, and either an aerosol microphysical (MATRIX) or a mass-based aerosol (OMA) module. Simulations of the CMIP6 historical period are analyzed as well as four Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) future scenarios for 2015-2100: SSP1-2.6, SSP2-4.5, SSP3-7.0, and SSP5-8.5. The main conclusion of this study is that aerosol forcing in the GISS model has reached its turning point, switching from globally increasing to a decreasing trend in the first decade of the 21st century. This result is robust, independent of which aerosol module or SSP scenario is used. Non-linear aerosol-cloud interactions dominate as a forcing agent over aerosol-radiation interactions. Aerosols' ability to counterbalance GHG forcing on the global scale is today at a level comparable to that at the beginning of the last century. In the 1980s, the decade of largest global aerosol loads, aerosols balanced up to 80% of GHG forcing. As a consequence, global warming of the last decades, which is primarily driven by greenhouse gases, has been augmented by the effect of decreasing aerosol cooling in our model. By the end of this century, following the SSP scenarios, aerosols will only counterbalance 0%-20% of GHG forcing, depending on model and on scenario.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Bauer, S. E. and Tsigaridis, K. and Faluvegi, G. and Nazarenko, L. and Miller, R. L. and Kelley, M. and Schmidt, G.},
  title={The turning point of the aerosol era},
  journal={J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - ba03700v
AU  - Bauer, S. E.
AU  - Tsigaridis, K.
AU  - Faluvegi, G.
AU  - Nazarenko, L.
AU  - Miller, R. L.
AU  - Kelley, M.
AU  - Schmidt, G.
PY  - 2022
TI  - The turning point of the aerosol era
JA  - J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst.
VL  - 14
IS  - 12
SP  - e2022MS003070
DO  - 10.1029/2022MS003070
ER  -

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