Rapid adjustments are responses to forcing agents that cause a perturbation to the top of atmosphere energy budget but are uncoupled to changes in surface warming. Different mechanisms are responsible for these adjustments for a variety of climate drivers. These remain to be quantified in detail. It is shown that rapid adjustments reduce the effective radiative forcing (ERF) of black carbon by half of the instantaneous forcing, but for CO2 forcing, rapid adjustments increase ERF. Competing tropospheric adjustments for CO2 forcing are individually significant but sum to zero, such that the ERF equals the stratospherically adjusted radiative forcing, but this is not true for other forcing agents. Additional experiments of increase in the solar constant and increase in CH4 are used to show that a key factor of the rapid adjustment for an individual climate driver is changes in temperature in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere.
- radiative forcing
- rapid adjustments
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)