Report

Amplification of Surface Temperature Trends and Variability in the Tropical Atmosphere

Science  02 Sep 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5740, pp. 1551-1556
DOI: 10.1126/science.1114867

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Abstract

The month-to-month variability of tropical temperatures is larger in the troposphere than at Earth's surface. This amplification behavior is similar in a range of observations and climate model simulations and is consistent with basic theory. On multidecadal time scales, tropospheric amplification of surface warming is a robust feature of model simulations, but it occurs in only one observational data set. Other observations show weak, or even negative, amplification. These results suggest either that different physical mechanisms control amplification processes on monthly and decadal time scales, and models fail to capture such behavior; or (more plausibly) that residual errors in several observational data sets used here affect their representation of long-term trends.

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