Substantial large-scale feedbacks between natural aerosols and climate

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Scott , C , Arnold , S , Monks , S , Asmi , A , Paasonen , P & Spracklen , D 2017 , ' Substantial large-scale feedbacks between natural aerosols and climate ' , Nature Geoscience , vol. 11 , no. 1 , pp. 44-48 .

Title: Substantial large-scale feedbacks between natural aerosols and climate
Author: Scott, Catherine; Arnold, Stephen; Monks, Sarah; Asmi, Ari; Paasonen, Pauli; Spracklen, Dominick
Contributor organization: Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR)
Department of Physics
Date: 2017-12-04
Language: eng
Number of pages: 5
Belongs to series: Nature Geoscience
ISSN: 1752-0908
Abstract: The terrestrial biosphere is an important source of natural aerosol. Natural aerosol sources alter climate, but are also strongly controlled by climate, leading to the potential for natural aerosol-climate feedbacks. Here we use a global aerosol model to make an assessment of terrestrial natural aerosol-climate feedbacks, constrained by observations of aerosol number. We find that warmer-than-average temperatures are associated with higher-than-average number concentrations of large (>100 nm diameter) particles, particularly during the summer. This relationship is well reproduced by the model and is driven by both meteorological variability and variability in natural aerosol from biogenic and landscape fire sources. We find that the calculated extratropical annual mean aerosol radiative effect (both direct and indirect) is negatively related to the observed global temperature anomaly, and is driven by a positive relationship between temperature and the emission of natural aerosol. The extratropical aerosol-climate feedback is estimated to be -0.14 W m(-2) K-1 for landscape fire aerosol, greater than the -0.03 W m(-2) K-1 estimated for biogenic secondary organic aerosol. These feedbacks are comparable in magnitude to other biogeochemical feedbacks, highlighting the need for natural aerosol feedbacks to be included in climate simulations.
Subject: 114 Physical sciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: unspecified
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: acceptedVersion

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