Rate of non-linearity in DMS aerosol-cloud-climate interactions 1School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
10 Nov 2011
2European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra, Italy
3Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrkoping, Sweden
4Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
5Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
6Department of Geography, University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon, UK
*now at: Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey
Received: 20 January 2011 – Published in Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.: 18 May 2011 Abstract. The degree of non-linearity in DMS-cloud-climate interactions is assessed
using the ECHAM5-HAMMOZ model by taking into account end-to-end aerosol
chemistry-cloud microphysics link. The evaluation is made over the Southern
oceans in austral summer, a region of minimal anthropogenic influence. In
this study, we compare the DMS-derived changes in the aerosol and cloud
microphysical properties between a baseline simulation with the ocean DMS
emissions from a prescribed climatology, and a scenario where the DMS
emissions are doubled. Our results show that doubling the DMS emissions in
the current climate results in a non-linear response in atmospheric DMS
burden and subsequently, in SO2 and H2SO4 burdens due to
inadequate OH oxidation. The aerosol optical depth increases by only
~20 % in the 30° S–75° S belt in the SH summer
months. This increases the vertically integrated cloud droplet number
concentrations (CDNC) by 25 %. Since the vertically integrated liquid
water vapor is constant in our model simulations, an increase in CDNC leads
to a reduction in cloud droplet radius of 3.4 % over the Southern oceans
in summer. The equivalent increase in cloud liquid water path is 10.7 %.
The above changes in cloud microphysical properties result in a change in
global annual mean radiative forcing at the TOA of −1.4 W m−2. The
results suggest that the DMS-cloud microphysics link is highly non-linear.
This has implications for future studies investigating the DMS-cloud climate
feedbacks in a warming world and for studies evaluating geoengineering
options to counteract warming by modulating low level marine clouds.
Revised: 12 September 2011 – Accepted: 03 November 2011 – Published: 10 November 2011
Citation: Thomas, M. A., Suntharalingam, P., Pozzoli, L., Devasthale, A., Kloster, S., Rast, S., Feichter, J., and Lenton, T. M.: Rate of non-linearity in DMS aerosol-cloud-climate interactions, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 11175-11183, doi:10.5194/acp-11-11175-2011, 2011.