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Lukas Kluft, Sally Dacie, Stefan A. Buehler, Hauke Schmidt, and Bjorn Stevens

Abstract

We revisit clear-sky one-dimensional radiative–convective equilibrium (1D-RCE) and determine its equilibrium climate sensitivity to a CO2 doubling (ECS) and associated uncertainty. Our 1D-RCE model, named konrad, uses the Rapid Radiative Transfer Model for GCMs (RRTMG) to calculate radiative fluxes in the same way as in comprehensive climate models. The simulated radiative feedbacks are verified by a line-by-line radiative transfer model, with which we also investigate their spectral distribution. Changing the model configuration of konrad enables a clear separation between the water vapor and the lapse rate feedbacks, as well as the interaction between the two. We find that the radiative feedback and ECS are sensitive to the chosen relative humidity profile, resulting in an ECS range of 2.09–2.40 K. Using larger CO2 forcings we find that the radiative feedback changes up to 10% for surface temperatures of 291–299 K. Although the ECS is similar to previous studies, it arises from the compensation of a larger clear-sky forcing (4.7 W m−2) and more strongly negative feedbacks (−2.3 W m−2 K−1). The lapse rate feedback and the feedback from the interaction of lapse rate and humidity compensate each other, but the degree of compensation depends on the relative humidity profile. Additionally, the temperature profile is investigated in a warming climate. The temperature change at the convective top is half as large as at the surface, consistent with the proportionally higher anvil temperature hypothesis, as long as the humidity is consistently coupled to the temperature profile.

Open access
Sally Dacie, Lukas Kluft, Hauke Schmidt, Bjorn Stevens, Stefan A. Buehler, Peer J. Nowack, Simone Dietmüller, N. Luke Abraham, and Thomas Birner

Abstract

There are discrepancies between global climate models regarding the evolution of the tropical tropopause layer (TTL) and also whether changes in ozone impact the surface under climate change. We use a 1D clear-sky radiative–convective equilibrium model to determine how a variety of factors can affect the TTL and how they influence surface climate. We develop a new method of convective adjustment, which relaxes the temperature profile toward the moist adiabat and allows for cooling above the level of neutral buoyancy. The TTL temperatures in our model are sensitive to CO2 concentration, ozone profile, the method of convective adjustment, and the upwelling velocity, which is used to calculate a dynamical cooling rate in the stratosphere. Moreover, the temperature response of the TTL to changes in each of the above factors sometimes depends on the others. The surface temperature response to changes in ozone and upwelling at and above the TTL is also strongly amplified by both stratospheric and tropospheric water vapor changes. With all these influencing factors, it is not surprising that global models disagree with regard to TTL structure and evolution and the influence of ozone changes on surface temperatures. On the other hand, the effect of doubling CO2 on the surface, including just radiative, water vapor, and lapse-rate feedbacks, is relatively robust to changes in convection, upwelling, or the applied ozone profile.

Open access