Effective radiative forcing in the aerosol-climate model CAM5.3-MARC-ARG

Research paper by Benjamin S. Grandey, Daniel Rothenberg, Alexander Avramov, Qinjian Jin, Hsiang-He Lee, Xiaohong Liu, Zheng Lu, Samuel Albani, Chien Wang

Indexed on: 17 Apr '18Published on: 17 Apr '18Published in: arXiv - Physics - Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics


We quantify the effective radiative forcing (ERF) of anthropogenic aerosols modelled by the aerosol-climate model CAM5.3-MARC-ARG. CAM5.3-MARC-ARG is a new configuration of the Community Atmosphere Model version 5.3 (CAM5.3) in which the default aerosol module has been replaced by the two-Moment, Multi-Modal, Mixing-state-resolving Aerosol model for Research of Climate (MARC). CAM5.3-MARC-ARG uses the default ARG aerosol activation scheme, consistent with the default configuration of CAM5.3. We compute differences between simulations using year-1850 aerosol emissions and simulations using year-2000 aerosol emissions in order to assess the radiative effects of anthropogenic aerosols. We compare the aerosol column burdens, cloud properties, and radiative effects produced by CAM5.3-MARC-ARG with those produced by the default configuration of CAM5.3, which uses the modal aerosol module with three log-normal modes (MAM3). Compared with MAM3, we find that MARC produces stronger cooling via the direct radiative effect, stronger cooling via the surface albedo radiative effect, and stronger warming via the cloud longwave radiative effect. The global mean cloud shortwave radiative effect is similar between MARC and MAM3, although the regional distributions differ. Overall, MARC produces a global mean net ERF of -1.75$\pm$0.04 W m$^{-2}$, which is stronger than the global mean net ERF of -1.57$\pm$0.04 W m$^{-2}$ produced by MAM3. The regional distribution of ERF also differs between MARC and MAM3, largely due to differences in the regional distribution of the cloud shortwave radiative effect. We conclude that the specific representation of aerosols in global climate models, including aerosol mixing state, has important implications for climate modelling.