Two distinct modes of climate responses to the anthropogenic aerosol forcing changes

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Aerosol radiative effect
Climate Change
Climate variability
Sea surface temperature
Unlike greenhouse gases (GHGs), anthropogenic aerosol (AA) concentrations have increased and then decreased over the past century or so, with the timing of the peak concentration varying in different regions. To date, it has been challenging to separate the climate impact of AAs from that due to GHGs and background internal variability. We use a pattern recognition method, taking advantage of spatiotemporal covariance information, to isolate the forced patterns for the surface ocean and associated atmospheric variables from the all-but-one forcing Community Earth System Model ensembles. We find that the aerosol-forced responses are dominated by two leading modes, with one associated with the historical increase and future decrease of global mean aerosol concentrations (dominated by the Northern Hemisphere sources) and the other due to the transition of the primary sources of AA from the west to the east and also from Northern Hemisphere extratropical regions to tropical regions. In particular, the aerosol transition effect, to some extent compensating the global mean effect, exhibits a zonal asymmetry in the surface temperature and salinity responses. We also show that this transition effect dominates the total AA effect during recent decades, e.g., 1967–2007.
Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2022. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Climate 35(11), (2022): 3445-3457,
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Shi, J.-R., Kwon, Y.-O., & Wijffels, S. (2022). Two distinct modes of climate responses to the anthropogenic aerosol forcing changes. Journal of Climate, 35(11), 3445-3457.
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