CICERO - Center for International Climate Research

Arctic Amplification Response to Individual Climate Drivers

Camilla Weum Stjern, Marianne Tronstad Lund, Bjørn Hallvard Samset, Gunnar Myhre, Piers M. Forster, Timothy Andrews, Olivier Boucher, Gregory Faluvegi, Dagmar Fläschner, Trond Iversen, Matthew Kasoar, Viatcheslav Kharin, Alf Kirkevåg, Jean-François Lamarque, Dirk Jan Leo Oliviè, Thomas Richardson, Maria Sand, Dilshad Shawki, Drew Shindell, Christopher J. Smith, Toshihiko Takemura, Apostolos Voulgarakis

The Arctic is experiencing rapid climate change in response to changes in greenhouse gases, aerosols, and other climate drivers. Emission changes in general, as well as geographical shifts in emissions and transport pathways of short‐lived climate forcers, make it necessary to understand the influence of each climate driver on the Arctic. In the Precipitation Driver Response Model Intercomparison Project, 10 global climate models perturbed five different climate drivers separately (CO2, CH4, the solar constant, black carbon, and SO4). We show that the annual mean Arctic amplification (defined as the ratio between Arctic and the global mean temperature change) at the surface is similar between climate drivers, ranging from 1.9 (± an intermodel standard deviation of 0.4) for the solar to 2.3 (±0.6) for the SO4 perturbations, with minimum amplification in the summer for all drivers. The vertical and seasonal temperature response patterns indicate that the Arctic is warmed through similar mechanisms for all climate drivers except black carbon. For all drivers, the precipitation change per degree global temperature change is positive in the Arctic, with a seasonality following that of the Arctic amplification. We find indications that SO4 perturbations produce a slightly stronger precipitation response than the other drivers, particularly compared to CO2.

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