31 Aug 2022
31 Aug 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Scenario and Model Dependence of Strategic Solar Climate Intervention in CESM

John T. Fasullo and Jadwiga H. Richter John T. Fasullo and Jadwiga H. Richter
  • National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, 80301, USA

Abstract. Model dependence in simulated responses to stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI) is a major uncertainty surrounding the potential implementation of this solar climate intervention strategy. We identify large differences in the aerosol mass latitudinal distributions between two recently produced climate model SAI large ensembles, despite using similar climate targets and controller algorithms, with the goal of understanding the drivers of such differences. Using a hierarchy of recently produced simulations, we identify three main contributors including: 1) the rapid adjustment of clouds and rainfall to elevated levels of carbon dioxide, 2) the associated low-frequency dynamical responses in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, and 3) the contrasts in future climate forcing scenarios. Each uncertainty is unlikely to be significantly narrowed over the likely timeframe of a potential SAI deployment if a 1.5 C target is to be met. The results thus suggest the need for significant flexibility in climate intervention deployment to account for these large uncertainties in the climate system response.

John T. Fasullo and Jadwiga H. Richter

Status: open (until 12 Oct 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-779', Alan Robock, 07 Sep 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-779', Douglas MacMartin, 14 Sep 2022 reply

John T. Fasullo and Jadwiga H. Richter

John T. Fasullo and Jadwiga H. Richter


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Short summary
The continued high levels of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions increase the likelihood that key climate warming thresholds will be exceeded in the coming decades. Here we examine a recently proposed geoengineering approach using two recently produced climate model experiments. We find the associated latitudinal distribution of aerosol mass to exhibit substantial uncertainty suggesting the need for significant flexibility in the location and amount of aerosol delivery if implemented.