University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Centre for Atmospheric Science seminars, Chemistry Dept. > Mechanisms for the land/sea warming contrast exhibited by simulations of climate change

Mechanisms for the land/sea warming contrast exhibited by simulations of climate change

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Francis Pope.

The land/sea warming contrast is a phenomenon whereby large areas of the land surface at most latitudes undergo temperature changes greater than the surrounding oceans when climate warms. In equilibrium situations the land/sea contrast is mainly associated with the hydrological cycle and local feedbacks in the boundary layer over land, with direct radiative forcing playing a smaller role. Surprisingly, in transient simulations, the effect of the differing thermal inertias of land and ocean is minor, and land/sea contrasts in such simulations are similar to their equilibrium counterparts. A conceptual model is described that can explain the land/sea contrast: the non-linearity of the Clausius-Clapeyron relationship between vapour pressure and temperature plays a critical role in this model. The sensitivity of the land/sea contrast to physical parameters, resolution and imposed radiative forcing in climate models is discussed. Finally by popular demand I’ll talk a little about the relationship between The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Ashes cricket series results in Australia.

The picture is projected future warming based on three emissions scenarios (low, medium, and high growth)- source: NASA Earth Observatory

This talk is part of the Centre for Atmospheric Science seminars, Chemistry Dept. series.

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