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We investigate the response of stratospheric water vapor (SWV) to different forcing agents, including greenhouse gases and aerosols. For most forcing agents, the SWV response is dominated by a slow response, which is coupled to surface temperature changes and exhibits a similar sensitivity to the surface temperature across all forcing agents. The fast SWV adjustment due to forcing is important when the forcing agent directly heats the cold-point region, e.g., black carbon.
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ACP | Articles | Volume 20, issue 21
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 13267–13282, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-20-13267-2020
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 13267–13282, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-20-13267-2020

Research article 10 Nov 2020

Research article | 10 Nov 2020

The response of stratospheric water vapor to climate change driven by different forcing agents

Xun Wang and Andrew E. Dessler

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Revised manuscript accepted for ACP
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Cited articles

Adams, B. K. and Dessler, A. E.: Estimating Transient Climate Response in a Large-Ensemble Global Climate Model Simulation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 46, 311–317, https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL080714, 2019. 
Allen, R. J., Amiri-Farahani, A., Lamarque, J.-F., Smith, C., Shindell, D., Hassan, T., and Chung, C. E.: Observationally constrained aerosol–cloud semi-direct effects, npj Clim. Atmos. Sci., 2, 16, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41612-019-0073-9, 2019. 
Arora, V. K., Scinocca, J. F., Boer, G. J., Christian, J. R., Denman, K. L., Flato, G. M., Kharin, V. V., Lee, W. G., and Merryfield, W. J.: Carbon emission limits required to satisfy future representative concentration pathways of greenhouse gases, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L05805, https://doi.org/10.1029/2010GL046270, 2011. 
Banerjee, A., Chiodo, G., Previdi, M., Ponater, M., Conley, A. J., and Polvani, L. M.: Stratospheric water vapor: an important climate feedback, Clim. Dynam., 53, 1697–1710, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-019-04721-4, 2019. 
Bellouin, N., Rae, J., Jones, A., Johnson, C., Haywood, J., and Boucher, O.: Aerosol forcing in the Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) simulations by HadGEM2-ES and the role of ammonium nitrate, J. Geophys. Res., 116, D20206, https://doi.org/10.1029/2011JD016074, 2011. 
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Short summary
We investigate the response of stratospheric water vapor (SWV) to different forcing agents, including greenhouse gases and aerosols. For most forcing agents, the SWV response is dominated by a slow response, which is coupled to surface temperature changes and exhibits a similar sensitivity to the surface temperature across all forcing agents. The fast SWV adjustment due to forcing is important when the forcing agent directly heats the cold-point region, e.g., black carbon.
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