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Daniel R. Marsh
,
Michael J. Mills
,
Douglas E. Kinnison
,
Jean-Francois Lamarque
,
Natalia Calvo
, and
Lorenzo M. Polvani

Abstract

The NCAR Community Earth System Model (CESM) now includes an atmospheric component that extends in altitude to the lower thermosphere. This atmospheric model, known as the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM), includes fully interactive chemistry, allowing, for example, a self-consistent representation of the development and recovery of the stratospheric ozone hole and its effect on the troposphere. This paper focuses on analysis of an ensemble of transient simulations using CESM1(WACCM), covering the period from the preindustrial era to present day, conducted as part of phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. Variability in the stratosphere, such as that associated with stratospheric sudden warmings and the development of the ozone hole, is in good agreement with observations. The signals of these phenomena propagate into the troposphere, influencing near-surface winds, precipitation rates, and the extent of sea ice. In comparison of tropospheric climate change predictions with those from a version of CESM that does not fully resolve the stratosphere, the global-mean temperature trends are indistinguishable. However, systematic differences do exist in other climate variables, particularly in the extratropics. The magnitude of the difference can be as large as the climate change response itself. This indicates that the representation of stratosphere–troposphere coupling could be a major source of uncertainty in climate change projections in CESM.

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Isla R. Simpson
,
Nan Rosenbloom
,
Gokhan Danabasoglu
,
Clara Deser
,
Stephen G. Yeager
,
Christina S. McCluskey
,
Ryohei Yamaguchi
,
Jean-Francois Lamarque
,
Simone Tilmes
,
Michael J. Mills
, and
Keith B. Rodgers

Abstract

Single-forcing large ensembles are a relatively new tool for quantifying the contributions of different anthropogenic and natural forcings to the historical and future projected evolution of the climate system. This study introduces a new single-forcing large ensemble with the Community Earth System Model, version 2 (CESM2), which can be used to separate the influences of greenhouse gases, anthropogenic aerosols, biomass burning aerosols, and all remaining forcings on the evolution of the Earth system from 1850 to 2050. Here, the forced responses of global near-surface temperature and associated drivers are examined in CESM2 and compared with those in a single-forcing large ensemble with CESM2’s predecessor, CESM1. The experimental design, the imposed forcing, and the model physics all differ between the CESM1 and CESM2 ensembles. In CESM1, an “all-but-one” approach was used whereby everything except the forcing of interest is time evolving, while in CESM2 an “only” approach is used, whereby only the forcing of interest is time evolving. This experimental design choice is shown to matter considerably for anthropogenic aerosol-forced change in CESM2, due to state dependence of cryospheric albedo feedbacks and nonlinearity in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) response to forcing. This impact of experimental design is, however, strongly dependent on the model physics and/or the imposed forcing, as the same sensitivity to experimental design is not found in CESM1, which appears to be an inherently less nonlinear model in both its AMOC behavior and cryospheric feedbacks.

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Simone Tilmes
,
Jadwiga H. Richter
,
Ben Kravitz
,
Douglas G. MacMartin
,
Michael J. Mills
,
Isla R. Simpson
,
Anne S. Glanville
,
John T. Fasullo
,
Adam S. Phillips
,
Jean-Francois Lamarque
,
Joseph Tribbia
,
Jim Edwards
,
Sheri Mickelson
, and
Siddhartha Ghosh

Abstract

This paper describes the Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering Large Ensemble (GLENS) project, which promotes the use of a unique model dataset, performed with the Community Earth System Model, with the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model as its atmospheric component [CESM1(WACCM)], to investigate global and regional impacts of geoengineering. The performed simulations were designed to achieve multiple simultaneous climate goals, by strategically placing sulfur injections at four different locations in the stratosphere, unlike many earlier studies that targeted globally averaged surface temperature by placing injections in regions at or around the equator. This advanced approach reduces some of the previously found adverse effects of stratospheric aerosol geoengineering, including uneven cooling between the poles and the equator and shifts in tropical precipitation. The 20-member ensemble increases the ability to distinguish between forced changes and changes due to climate variability in global and regional climate variables in the coupled atmosphere, land, sea ice, and ocean system. We invite the broader community to perform in-depth analyses of climate-related impacts and to identify processes that lead to changes in the climate system as the result of a strategic application of stratospheric aerosol geoengineering.

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