Climate Sensitivity of GFDL's CM4.0

M. Winton, A. Adcroft, J. P. Dunne, I. M. Held, E. Shevliakova, M. Zhao, H. Guo, W. Hurlin, J. Krasting, T. Knutson, D. Paynter, L. G. Silvers, R. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


GFDL's new CM4.0 climate model has high transient and equilibrium climate sensitivities near the middle of the upper half of CMIP5 models. The CMIP5 models have been criticized for excessive sensitivity based on observations of present-day warming and heat uptake and estimates of radiative forcing. An ensemble of historical simulations with CM4.0 produces warming and heat uptake that are consistent with these observations under forcing that is at the middle of the assessed distribution. Energy budget-based methods for estimating sensitivities based on these quantities underestimate CM4.0's sensitivities when applied to its historical simulations. However, we argue using a simple attribution procedure that CM4.0's warming evolution indicates excessive transient sensitivity to greenhouse gases. This excessive sensitivity is offset prior to recent decades by excessive response to aerosol and land use changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2019MS001838
JournalJournal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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