Lu Zhang1, Jing Li1, Zhongjing Jiang1, Yueming Dong1, Tong Ying1, and Zhenyu Zhang1
1 Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing, China
Abstract: The direct perturbation of anthropogenic aerosols on Earth’s energy balance [i.e., direct aerosol radiative forcing (DARF)] remains uncertain in climate models. In this study, we investigate the uncertainty of DARF associated with aerosol vertical distribution, using simulation results from 14 global models within phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). The column mass loading for each aerosol species is first normalized to the multimodel average for each model, which is called the mass-normalization process. The unified radiative transfer model and aerosol optical parameter are used, so that the differences in the calculated DARF are solely attributed to the difference in aerosol vertical profiles. The global mean DARF values in 2014 with respect to 1850 before and after mass normalization are -0.77 ± 0.52 and -0.81 ± 0.12 W/m2 respectively, assuming external mixing, which indicates that the intermodel difference in aerosol vertical distribution accounts for ∼20% of the total DARF uncertainty. We further conduct two separate experiments by normalizing aerosol optical depth (AOD) and aerosol single scattering albedo (SSA) profiles, respectively, and find that the vertical distribution of SSA results in larger DARF uncertainty (0.17 W/m2) than that of AOD (0.10 W/m2). Finally, compared with CALIPSO observation, CMIP6 models tend to produce higher aerosol layers. The bias in modeled aerosol profile with respect to CALIPSO leads to stronger DARF, especially for land regions.
Keywords: General circulation models; Model comparison; Aerosol radiative effect; Primary aerosol
Acknowledgments：We gratefully acknowledge the World Climate Research Programme, through its Working Group on Coupled Modelling, for coordinating and promoting CMIP6 (https://esgf-node.llnl.gov/search/cmip6/). We are grateful to Atmospheric and Environmental Research for providing the RRTM code (http://rtweb.aer.com/rrtm_frame.html). We acknowledge the NASA Langley Atmospheric Science Data Center for the data used for this study (https://asdc.larc.nasa.gov/project/CALIPSO). This study is funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) Grant 41975023.
Citation: Zhang, Lu, Li, Jing, Jiang, Zhongjing, Dong, Yueming, Ying, Tong, and Zhang, Zhenyu, 2022, "Clear-Sky Direct Aerosol Radiative Forcing Uncertainty Associated with Aerosol Vertical Distribution Based on CMIP6 models" Journal of Climate Vol. 35, No. 10, pp 3021, 1520-0442