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Keywords:

  • climate feedbacks

[1] An atmospheric general circulation model, coupled to a mixed layer ocean, is subjected to a broad range of forcing away from the current climate between 1/16 to 32 times current CO2 in halving/doubling steps. As climate warms climate sensitivity weakens (although not monotonically), albedo feedback weakens (driving much of the sensitivity weakening), water vapour feedback strengthens (at a rate slightly larger than it would if relative humidity remained unchanged), and lapse rate feedback increases (negatively); this latter change essentially offsetting the water vapour increases. Longwave cloud feedbacks are relatively stable (moderate and positive) across the full range; shortwave cloud feedback remains relatively weak, apart from under the coldest climates. Cloud optical property related components (from total water content, water/ice fraction and cloud thickness) remain remarkably stable. Cloud ‘amount’ feedbacks show the greatest trends: weakening as temperatures increase. Although cloud feedbacks show an overall consistency of features in different latitudes, precise patterns of changes differ substantially for different baseline climates.