Publication Abstracts

McCoy et al. 2020

McCoy, D.T., P. Field, A. Bodas-Salcedo, G.S. Elsaesser, and M.D. Zelinka, 2020: A regime-oriented approach to observationally constraining extratropical shortwave cloud feedbacks. J. Climate, 33, no. 23, 9967-9983, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0987.1.

The extratropical shortwave (SW) cloud feedback is primarily due to increases in extratropical liquid cloud extent and optical depth. Here, we examine the response of extratropical (35°-75°) marine cloud liquid water path (LWP) to a uniform 4 K increase in sea surface temperature (SST) in global climate models (GCMs) from the fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) and variants of the HadGEM3-GC3.1 GCM. Compositing is used to partition data into periods inside and out of cyclones. The response of extratropical LWP to a uniform SST increase and associated atmospheric response varies substantially among GCMs, but the sensitivity of LWP to cloud controlling factors (CCFs) is qualitatively similar. When all other predictors are held constant, increasing moisture flux into cyclones drives increasing LWP. Increasing SST, holding all other predictors fixed, leads to a decrease in LWP. The combinations of these changes lead to LWP, and by extension reflected SW, increasing with warming in both hemispheres. Observations predict an increase in reflected SW over oceans of 0.8 W/m2 to 1.6 W/m2 per K SST increase (35°N-75°N) and 1.2 W/m2 to 1.9 W/m2 per K (35°S-75°S). This increase in reflected SW is mainly due to increased moisture convergence into cyclones because of increasing available moisture. The efficiency at which converging moisture is converted into precipitation in cyclones determines the amount of liquid cloud. Thus, cyclone precipitation processes are critical to constraining extratropical cloud feedbacks.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={McCoy, D. T. and Field, P. and Bodas-Salcedo, A. and Elsaesser, G. S. and Zelinka, M. D.},
  title={A regime-oriented approach to observationally constraining extratropical shortwave cloud feedbacks},
  journal={J. Climate},

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RIS Citation

ID  - mc07100r
AU  - McCoy, D. T.
AU  - Field, P.
AU  - Bodas-Salcedo, A.
AU  - Elsaesser, G. S.
AU  - Zelinka, M. D.
PY  - 2020
TI  - A regime-oriented approach to observationally constraining extratropical shortwave cloud feedbacks
JA  - J. Climate
VL  - 33
IS  - 23
SP  - 9967
EP  - 9983
DO  - 10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0987.1
ER  -

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