U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Climate Feedback Study Reveals Important Properties About Clouds
Published: January 10, 2011
Posted: January 14, 2011

Climate models exhibit a range of sensitivities in response to increased greenhouse gases, feedbacks that are crucial to our understanding of climate sensitivity. Many parameters in climate models exhibit uncertainties and changes in these parameters result in different model predictions of climate responses. In this DOE funded study, feedback analysis is applied to a complex, multiparameter ensemble of climate models revealing links between uncertain climate model parameters and climatic responses to greenhouse gas forcing. The analysis breaks down the response of the climate system to greenhouse gas forcing into a sum of different feedbacks in clouds, water vapor and the land surface. One result of this study indicates that parameters governing cloud formation, convection strength, and ice fall speed are the most significant in altering climate feedbacks.

Reference:Sanderson, B.M., K.M. Shell, and W.Imgram. 2010. "Cimate Feedbacks Determined Using Radiative Kernels in a Multi-Thousand Member Ensemble of AOGCMs," Climate Dynamics 35:1219–36. DOI 10.1007/s00382-009-0661-1

Contact: Renu Joseph, SC-23.1, (301) 903-9237, Dorothy Koch, SC-23.1, (301) 903-0105
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling
  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Aug 24, 2019
New Approach for Studying How Microbes Influence Their Environment
A diverse group of scientists suggests a common framework and targeting of known microbial processes [more...]

Aug 08, 2019
Nutrient-Hungry Peatland Microbes Reduce Carbon Loss Under Warmer Conditions
Enzyme production in peatlands reduces carbon lost to respiration under future high temperatures. [more...]

Aug 05, 2019
Amazon Forest Response to CO2 Fertilization Dependent on Plant Phosphorus Acquisition
AmazonFACE Model Intercomparison. The Science Plant growth is dependent on the availabi [more...]

Jul 29, 2019
A Slippery Slope: Soil Carbon Destabilization
Carbon gain or loss depends on the balance between competing biological, chemical, and physical reac [more...]

Jul 15, 2019
Field Evaluation of Gas Analyzers for Measuring Ecosystem Fluxes
How gas analyzer type and correction method impact measured fluxes. The Science A side- [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)