CICERO - Center for International Climate Research

Comparison of Effective Radiative Forcing Calculations Using Multiple Methods, Drivers, and Models

Tao Tang, D Shindell, G. Faluvegi, Gunnar Myhre, Dirk Jan Leo Oliviè, A. Voulgarakis, Matthew Kasoar, T. Andrews, O. Boucher, Piers M. Forster, Øivind Hodnebrog, Trond Iversen, Alf Kirkevåg, Jean-François Lamarque, T. Richardson, Bjørn Hallvard Samset, Camilla Weum Stjern, Toshihiko Takemura, C. Smith

We compare six methods of estimating effective radiative forcing (ERF) using a set of atmosphere‐ocean general circulation models. This is the first multiforcing agent, multimodel evaluation of ERF values calculated using different methods. We demonstrate that previously reported apparent consistency between the ERF values derived from fixed sea surface temperature simulations and linear regression holds for most climate forcings, excluding black carbon (BC). When land adjustment is accounted for, however, the fixed sea surface temperature ERF values are generally 10–30% larger than ERFs derived using linear regression across all forcing agents, with a much larger (~70–100%) discrepancy for BC. Except for BC, this difference can be largely reduced by either using radiative kernel techniques or by exponential regression. Responses of clouds and their effects on shortwave radiation show the strongest variability in all experiments, limiting the application of regression‐based ERF in small forcing simulations.

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