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Climate forcings in Goddard Institute for Space Studies SI2000 simulations

Authors


Abstract

[1] We define the radiative forcings used in climate simulations with the SI2000 version of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) global climate model. These include temporal variations of well-mixed greenhouse gases, stratospheric aerosols, solar irradiance, ozone, stratospheric water vapor, and tropospheric aerosols. Our illustrations focus on the period 1951–2050, but we make the full data sets available for those forcings for which we have earlier data. We illustrate the global response to these forcings for the SI2000 model with specified sea surface temperature and with a simple Q-flux ocean, thus helping to characterize the efficacy of each forcing. The model yields good agreement with observed global temperature change and heat storage in the ocean. This agreement does not yield an improved assessment of climate sensitivity or a confirmation of the net climate forcing because of possible compensations with opposite changes of these quantities. Nevertheless, the results imply that observed global temperature change during the past 50 years is primarily a response to radiative forcings. It is also inferred that the planet is now out of radiation balance by 0.5 to 1 W/m2 and that additional global warming of about 0.5°C is already “in the pipeline.”

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