Surface response to stratospheric aerosol changes in a coupled atmosphere–ocean model

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Abstract

[1] Previous work with a simple climate model has suggested a global cooling impact of increasing stratospheric aerosol. Here we use a comprehensive Earth System Model including coupled atmosphere and ocean components to show that increasing stratospheric aerosol since the late 1990s has reduced global warming by at least 0.07 C to present and that a further global cooling impact will occur if the observed stratospheric aerosol trend continues to the end of this decade. This result confirms the previous work and suggests that climate models that do not account for stratospheric aerosol increase will overestimate global warming to a small but notable degree. An additional new finding is that increasing stratospheric aerosol since the late 1990s has reduced the rise in global mean precipitation.

[2] Finally, regional patterns of change in simulations with stratospheric aerosol increase to year 2020 show ~40% less equatorial precipitation increase and ~60% greater surface pressure decrease around Antarctica, relative to simulations without such stratospheric aerosol changes.

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