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Can we use linear response theory to assess geoengineering strategies?

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Title
Can we use linear response theory to assess geoengineering strategies?
Author(s)
Tamás Bódai; Lucarini V.; Lunkeit F.
Publication Date
2020-02
Journal
CHAOS, v.30, no.2, pp.023124 -
Publisher
AMER INST PHYSICS
Abstract
© 2020 Author(s).Geoengineering can control only some climatic variables but not others, resulting in side-effects. We investigate in an intermediate-complexity climate model the applicability of linear response theory (LRT) to the assessment of a geoengineering method. This application of LRT is twofold. First, our objective (O1) is to assess only the best possible geoengineering scenario by looking for a suitable modulation of solar forcing that can cancel out or otherwise modulate a climate change signal that would result from a rise in carbon dioxide concentration [CO 2] alone. Here, we consider only the cancellation of the expected global mean surface air temperature Δ « [T s] ». It is in fact a straightforward inverse problem for this solar forcing, and, considering an infinite time period, we use LRT to provide the solution in the frequency domain in closed form as f s (ω) = (Δ « [T s] » (ω) - χ g (ω) f g (ω)) / χ s (ω), where the χ's are linear susceptibilities. We provide procedures suitable for numerical implementation that apply to finite time periods too. Second, to be able to utilize LRT to quantify side-effects, the response with respect to uncontrolled observables, such as regional averages « T s », must be approximately linear. Therefore, our objective (O2) here is to assess the linearity of the response. We find that under geoengineering in the sense of (O1), i.e., under combined greenhouse and required solar forcing, the asymptotic response Δ « [T s] » is actually not zero. This turns out not to be due to nonlinearity of the response under geoengineering, but rather a consequence of inaccurate determination of the linear susceptibilities χ. The error is in fact due to a significant quadratic nonlinearity of the response under system identification achieved by a forced experiment. This nonlinear contribution can be easily removed, which results in much better estimates of the linear susceptibility, and, in turn, in a fivefold reduction in Δ « [T s] » under geoengineering practice. This correction dramatically improves also the agreement of the spatial patterns of the predicted linear and the true model responses. However, considering (O2), such an agreement is not perfect and is worse in the case of the precipitation patterns as opposed to surface temperature. Some evidence suggests that it could be due to a greater degree of nonlinearity in the case of precipitation
URI
https://pr.ibs.re.kr/handle/8788114/7172
ISSN
1054-1500
Appears in Collections:
Center for Climate Physics(기후물리 연구단) > Journal Papers (저널 논문)
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