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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-192
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-192
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  04 May 2020

04 May 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ACP and is expected to appear here in due course.

How aerosols and greenhouse gases influence the diurnal temperature range

Camilla W. Stjern1, Bjørn H. Samset1, Olivier Boucher2, Trond Iversen3, Jean-François Lamarque4, Gunnar Myhre1, Drew Shindell5, and Toshihiko Takemura6 Camilla W. Stjern et al.
  • 1CICERO Center of International Climate Research, Oslo, Norway
  • 2Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, Sorbonne Université/CNRS, Paris, France
  • 3Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, Norway
  • 4NCAR/UCAR, Boulder, USA
  • 5Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
  • 6Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan

Abstract. The diurnal temperature range (DTR), or difference between the maximum and minimum temperature within one day, is one of many climate parameters that affects health, agriculture and society. Understanding how DTR evolves under global warming is therefore crucial. Since physically different drivers of climate change, such as greenhouse gases and aerosols, have distinct influences on global and regional climate, predicting the future evolution of DTR requires knowledge of the effects of individual climate forcers, as well as of the future emissions mix, in particular in high emission regions. Using global climate model simulations from the Precipitation Driver and Response Model Intercomparison Project (PDRMIP), we investigate how idealized changes in the atmospheric levels of a greenhouse gas (CO2) and aerosols (black carbon and sulfate) influence DTR, globally and in selected regions. We find broad geographical patterns of annual mean change that are similar between climate drivers, pointing to a generalized response to global warming which is not defined by the individual forcing agents. Seasonal and regional differences, however, are substantial, which highlights the potential importance of local background conditions and feedbacks. While differences in DTR responses among drivers are minor in Europe and North America, there are distinctly different DTR responses to aerosols and greenhouse gas perturbations over India and China, where present aerosol emissions are particularly high. BC induces substantial reductions in DTR, which we attribute to strong modelled BC-induced cloud responses in these regions.

Camilla W. Stjern et al.

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Camilla W. Stjern et al.

Camilla W. Stjern et al.

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Latest update: 24 Sep 2020
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Short summary
The span between the warmest and coldest temperatures over a day is a climate parameter that influences both agriculture and human health. Using data from ten models we show how individual climate drivers such as greenhouse gases and aerosols produce distinctly different responses in this parameter in high-emission regions. Given the high uncertainty in future aerosol emissions, this improved understanding of the temperature responses may ultimately help these regions prepare for future changes.
The span between the warmest and coldest temperatures over a day is a climate parameter that...
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