Aerosol climate feedback due to decadal increases in Southern Hemisphere wind speeds
Article first published online: 27 JAN 2010
Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 37, Issue 2, January 2010
How to Cite
2010), Aerosol climate feedback due to decadal increases in Southern Hemisphere wind speeds, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L02805, doi:10.1029/2009GL041320., , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 27 JAN 2010
- Article first published online: 27 JAN 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 DEC 2009
- Manuscript Revised: 9 DEC 2009
- Manuscript Received: 9 OCT 2009
- aerosol-climate interaction
 Observations indicate that the westerly jet in the Southern Hemisphere troposphere is accelerating. Using a global aerosol model we estimate that the increase in wind speed of 0.45 ± 0.2 m s−1decade−1 at 50–65°S since the early 1980s caused a higher sea spray flux, resulting in an increase of cloud condensation nucleus concentrations of more than 85% in some regions, and of 22% on average between 50 and 65°S. These fractional increases are similar in magnitude to the decreases over many northern hemisphere land areas due to changes in air pollution over the same period. The change in cloud drop concentrations causes an increase in cloud reflectivity and a summertime radiative forcing between at 50 and 65°S comparable in magnitude but acting against that from greenhouse gas forcing over the same time period, and thus represents a substantial negative climate feedback. However, recovery of Antarctic ozone depletion in the next two decades will likely cause a fall in wind speeds, a decrease in cloud drop concentration and a correspondingly weaker cloud feedback.