The interannual variability of the hydrological cycle is diagnosed from the Hadley Centre and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) climate models, both of which are forced by observed sea surface temperatures. The models produce a similar sensitivity of clear-sky outgoing longwave radiation to surface temperature of ∼2 W m-2 K-1, indicating a consistent and positive clear-sky radiative feedback. However, differences between changes in the temperature lapse-rate and the height dependence of moisture fluctuations suggest that contrasting mechanisms bring about this result. The GFDL model appears to give a weaker water vapor feedback (i.e., changes in specific humidity). This is counteracted by a smaller upper tropospheric temperature response to surface warming, which implies a compensating positive lapse-rate feedback.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science
- climate model
- temperature lapse-rate
- water vapor