Present-day springtime high-latitude surface albedo as a predictor of simulated climate sensitivity
Article first published online: 5 SEP 2007
Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 34, Issue 17, September 2007
How to Cite
2007), Present-day springtime high-latitude surface albedo as a predictor of simulated climate sensitivity, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L17703, doi:10.1029/2007GL030775., , and (
- Issue published online: 5 SEP 2007
- Article first published online: 5 SEP 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 2 AUG 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 16 JUL 2007
- Manuscript Received: 23 MAY 2007
- snow albedo;
- climate sensitivity;
 Simulations by the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM) and 15 other climate models suggest that climate sensitivity is linked to continental middle to high latitude present-day springtime albedo. We compare 1 × CO2 and 2 × CO2 CAM simulations against similar simulations with snow cover fraction purposely increased. Greater snow cover fraction leads to higher albedo and lower temperatures at 1 × CO2 but has less influence at 2 × CO2 when little snow remains due to global warming. This makes the simulation with higher albedo at 1 × CO2 more sensitive to increased CO2, in agreement with past work. We show that the wide variation in simulated snow-albedo feedbacks and climate sensitivities among 15 other models correlates well with variations in the continental middle to high latitude present-day springtime albedo, in agreement with our CAM results. The development of more accurate snow and albedo parameterizations should improve model estimates of climate sensitivity.