Solar irradiance reduction to counteract radiative forcing from a quadrupling of CO 2: Climate responses simulated by four earth system models

H. Schmidt, K. Alterskjær, D. Bou Karam, O. Boucher, A. Jones, J. E. Kristjánsson, U. Niemeier, M. Schulz, A. Aaheim, F. Benduhn, M. Lawrence, C. Timmreck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study we compare the response of four state-of-the-art Earth system models to climate engineering under scenario G1 of two model intercomparison projects: GeoMIP (Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project) and IMPLICC (EU project "Implications and risks of engineering solar radiation to limit climate change"). In G1, the radiative forcing from an instantaneous quadrupling of the CO 2 concentration, starting from the preindustrial level, is balanced by a reduction of the solar constant. Model responses to the two counteracting forcings in G1 are compared to the preindustrial climate in terms of global means and regional patterns and their robustness. While the global mean surface air temperature in G1 remains almost unchanged compared to the control simulation, the meridional temperature gradient is reduced in all models. Another robust response is the global reduction of precipitation with strong effects in particular over North and South America and northern Eurasia. In comparison to the climate response to a quadrupling of CO 2 alone, the temperature responses are small in experiment G1. Precipitation responses are, however, in many regions of comparable magnitude but globally of opposite sign.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)63-78
Number of pages16
JournalEarth System Dynamics
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2012

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