Polar Amplification in CCSM4: Contributions from the Lapse Rate and Surface Albedo Feedbacks

Rune G. Graversen, Peter L. Langen, Thorsten Mauritsen
2014 Journal of Climate  
A vertically nonuniform warming of the troposphere yields a lapse rate feedback by altering the infrared irradiance to space relative to that of a vertically uniform tropospheric warming. The lapse rate feedback is negative at low latitudes, as a result of moist convective processes, and positive at high latitudes, due to stable stratification conditions that effectively trap warming near the surface. It is shown that this feedback pattern leads to polar amplification of the temperature
more » ... induced by a radiative forcing. The results are obtained by suppressing the lapse rate feedback in the Community Climate System Model, version 4 (CCSM4). The lapse rate feedback accounts for 15% of the Arctic amplification and 20% of the amplification in the Antarctic region. The fraction of the amplification that can be attributed to the surface albedo feedback, associated with melting of snow and ice, is 40% in the Arctic and 65% in Antarctica. It is further found that the surface albedo and lapse rate feedbacks interact considerably at high latitudes to the extent that they cannot be considered independent feedback mechanisms at the global scale.
doi:10.1175/jcli-d-13-00551.1 fatcat:6pi5czfrarb35nkl2akkva7xpe