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Scenario and Model Dependence of Strategic Solar Climate Intervention in CESM
  • John T. Fasullo,
  • Jadwiga H. Richter
John T. Fasullo
National Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), National Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)

Corresponding Author:fasullo@ucar.edu

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Jadwiga H. Richter
National Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), National Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)
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Abstract

Model dependence in simulated responses to stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI) is a major uncertainty surrounding the potential implementation of this solar climate intervention strategy. We identify large differences in the aerosol mass latitudinal distributions between two recently produced climate model SAI large ensembles, despite using similar climate targets and controller algorithms, with the goal of understanding the drivers of such differences. Using a hierarchy of recently produced simulations, we identify three main contributors including: 1) the rapid adjustment of clouds and rainfall to elevated levels of carbon dioxide, 2) the associated low-frequency dynamical responses in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, and 3) the contrasts in future climate forcing scenarios. Each uncertainty is unlikely to be significantly narrowed over the likely timeframe of a potential SAI deployment if a 1.5C target is to be met. The results thus suggest the need for significant flexibility in climate intervention deployment in order to account for these large uncertainties in the climate system response.