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Connee S. Mitchell, Gerald L. Potter, Hugh W. Ellsaesser, and John J. Walton

Abstract

A method is described for analyzing the feedback and synergistic contributions of temperature, water vapor, cloud cover, surface albedo and CO2 to the change in the radiation balance at the top of the atmosphere due to a perturbation in an annual-averaged zonal atmospheric climate model. The method is illustrated through analysis of a doubled CO2 experiment with the Lawrence Livermore. National Laboratory Statistical Dynamical Model (LLNL SDM). The method provides insight into the sensitivity of the model to feedback changes in individual parameters and how each parameter influences the effects of the others.

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Gerald L. Potter, Huch W. Ellsaesser, Michael C. MacCracken, and Connee S. Mitchell

Abstract

The sensitivity of outgoing longwave flux to changes in cloud cover (∂F/∂A c) as defined by Cess (1976) must be evaluated carefully to avoid discrepancies arising from the interchange of averaging conventions. In a recent zonal atmospheric model experiment the global value of ∂F/∂A c was different in sign than in other calculations. This difference in behavior was traced to a latitudinal redistribution of cloud amount and height that occurred in the doubled CO2 experiment. However, when ∂F/∂A c was evaluated at individual latitudes and then weighted globally, the value of this parameter was consistent with those found by Cess (1976) and Budyko (1974).

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