Global mean cloud feedbacks in idealized climate change experiments



[1] Global mean cloud feedbacks in ten atmosphere-only climate models are estimated in perturbed sea surface temperature (SST) experiments and the results compared to doubled CO2 experiments using mixed-layer ocean versions of these same models. The cloud feedbacks in any given model are generally not consistent: the sign of the net cloud radiative feedback may vary according to the experimental design. However, both sets of experiments indicate that the variation of the total climate feedback across the models depends primarily on the variation of the net cloud feedback. Changes in different cloud types show much greater consistency between the two experiments for any individual model and amongst the set of models analyzed here. This suggests that the SST perturbation experiments may provide useful information on the processes associated with cloud changes which is not evident when analysis is restricted to feedbacks defined in terms of the change in cloud radiative forcing.