On the determination of climate feedbacks from ERBE data
Article first published online: 26 AUG 2009
Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 36, Issue 16, August 2009
How to Cite
2009), On the determination of climate feedbacks from ERBE data, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L16705, doi:10.1029/2009GL039628., and (
- Issue published online: 26 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 26 AUG 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 JUL 2009
- Manuscript Revised: 14 JUL 2009
- Manuscript Received: 16 JUN 2009
- climate feedback;
- climate sensitivity;
 Climate feedbacks are estimated from fluctuations in the outgoing radiation budget from the latest version of Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) nonscanner data. It appears, for the entire tropics, the observed outgoing radiation fluxes increase with the increase in sea surface temperatures (SSTs). The observed behavior of radiation fluxes implies negative feedback processes associated with relatively low climate sensitivity. This is the opposite of the behavior of 11 atmospheric models forced by the same SSTs. Therefore, the models display much higher climate sensitivity than is inferred from ERBE, though it is difficult to pin down such high sensitivities with any precision. Results also show, the feedback in ERBE is mostly from shortwave radiation while the feedback in the models is mostly from longwave radiation. Although such a test does not distinguish the mechanisms, this is important since the inconsistency of climate feedbacks constitutes a very fundamental problem in climate prediction.