Latitude-Dependent Sensitivity to Stationary Perturbations in Simple Climate Models

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  • 1 Physics Department, University of Missouri, St. Louis 63121
  • | 2 Laboratory for Atmospheric Sciences, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771
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Abstract

The steady-state zonally averaged climate is perturbed by adding a latitude-dependent heat source to an energy balance equation of the simplified Budyko-Sellers type. The latitude of the ice edge, which is attached to an isotherm, becomes dependent on the strength of the perturbation. This dependence is given in terms of the well-known iceline-solar constant relation, and the latitude dependence of the perturbed temperature field is then uniquely determined. The exact analytical solution is linearized and expressed in terms of a superposition of line sources at various latitudes. The main features are. 1) The total temperature response is a sum of the direct effect of the perturbation and an indirect ice-albedo effect proportional to the solar ice-edge sensitivity; and 2) the indirect feedback effect produces an enhanced response in polar latitudes.

Abstract

The steady-state zonally averaged climate is perturbed by adding a latitude-dependent heat source to an energy balance equation of the simplified Budyko-Sellers type. The latitude of the ice edge, which is attached to an isotherm, becomes dependent on the strength of the perturbation. This dependence is given in terms of the well-known iceline-solar constant relation, and the latitude dependence of the perturbed temperature field is then uniquely determined. The exact analytical solution is linearized and expressed in terms of a superposition of line sources at various latitudes. The main features are. 1) The total temperature response is a sum of the direct effect of the perturbation and an indirect ice-albedo effect proportional to the solar ice-edge sensitivity; and 2) the indirect feedback effect produces an enhanced response in polar latitudes.

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