In this work, we use Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) simulations from 10 Earth system models (ESMs) and general circulation models (GCMs) to study the fast climate responses on pre-industrial climate, due to present-day aerosols. All models carried out two sets of simulations: a control experiment with all forcings set to the year 1850 and a perturbation experiment with all forcings identical to the control, except for aerosols with precursor emissions set to the year 2014. In response to the pattern of all aerosols effective radiative forcing (ERF), the fast temperature responses are characterized by cooling over the continental areas, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, with the largest cooling over East Asia and India, sulfate being the dominant aerosol surface temperature driver for present-day emissions. In the Arctic there is a warming signal for winter in the ensemble mean of fast temperature responses, but the model-to-model variability is large, and it is presumably linked to aerosol-induced circulation changes. The largest fast precipitation responses are seen in the tropical belt regions, generally characterized by a reduction over continental regions and presumably a southward shift of the tropical rain belt. This is a characteristic and robust feature among most models in this study, associated with weakening of the monsoon systems around the globe (Asia, Africa and America) in response to hemispherically asymmetric cooling from a Northern Hemisphere aerosol perturbation, forcing possibly the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and tropical precipitation to shift away from the cooled hemisphere despite that aerosols' effects on temperature and precipitation are only partly realized in these simulations as the sea surface temperatures are kept fixed. An interesting feature in aerosol-induced circulation changes is a characteristic dipole pattern with intensification of the Icelandic Low and an anticyclonic anomaly over southeastern Europe, inducing warm air advection towards the northern polar latitudes in winter.
Fast responses on pre-industrial climate from present-day aerosols in a CMIP6 multi-model study
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics