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Journal Article

Parametric uncertainty effects on aerosol radiative forcing

MPS-Authors
/persons/resource/persons37169

Haerter,  J. O.
The Land in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Roeckner,  E.
The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;
Climate Modelling, The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons37358

Tomassini,  L.
The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;
Climate Modelling, The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons37369

von Storch,  J.-S.
The Ocean in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;
Ocean Statistics, The Ocean in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Fulltext (public)

GRL_2009GL039050.pdf
(Publisher version), 163KB

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Citation

Haerter, J. O., Roeckner, E., Tomassini, L., & von Storch, J.-S. (2009). Parametric uncertainty effects on aerosol radiative forcing. Geophysical Research Letters, 36: L15707. doi:10.1029/2009GL039050.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-F7C0-F
Abstract
Among the known radiative forcings, the fourth IPCC assessment report estimates the aerosol radiative forcing to harbor the widest range of uncertainty extending from -1.8 to -0.3 W/m(2). The IPCC estimates focus mainly on structural uncertainties, including uncertainties in aerosol sources. Here, we study the uncertainty of the sulfate aerosol radiative forcing due to parametric uncertainty in a state-of-the-art general circulation model (GCM). Numerical experiments were carried out by perturbing seven cloud parameters in the model. We find that the uncertainty due to a single one of these parameters can be as large as 0.5 W/m(2), and the uncertainty due to combinations of these parameters can reach more than 1 W/m(2). These numbers should be compared with the sulfate aerosol forcing of -1.9 W/m(2) for the year 2000, obtained using the default values of the parameters. The uncertainty results from a high sensitivity of cloud optical properties to aerosol concentrations, which can be amplified by changing cloud parameter setting.