Reports

Interpretation of Cloud-Climate Feedback as Produced by 14 Atmospheric General Circulation Models

Science  04 Aug 1989:
Vol. 245, Issue 4917, pp. 513-516
DOI: 10.1126/science.245.4917.513

Abstract

Understanding the cause of differences among general circulation model projections of carbon dioxide-induced climatic change is a necessary step toward improving the models. An intercomparison of 14 atmospheric general circulation models, for which sea surface temperature perturbations were used as a surrogate climate change, showed that there was a roughly threefold variation in global climate sensitivity. Most of this variation is attributable to differences in the models' depictions of cloud-climate feedback, a result that emphasizes the need for improvements in the treatment of clouds in these models if they are ultimately to be used as climatic predictors.