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The climate feedbacks in coupled ocean–atmosphere models are compared using a coordinated set of twenty-first-century climate change experiments. Water vapor is found to provide the largest positive feedback in all models and its strength is consistent with that expected from constant relative humidity changes in the water vapor mixing ratio. The feedbacks(More)
In an El Niño event, positive SST anomalies usually appear in remote ocean basins such as the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the tropical North Atlantic approximately 3 to 6 months after SST anomalies peak in the tropical Pacific. Ship data from 1952 to 1992 and satellite data from the 1980s both demonstrate that changes in atmospheric circulation(More)
This study examines the response of the tropical atmospheric and oceanic circulation to increasing greenhouse gases using a coordinated set of twenty-first-century climate model experiments performed for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). The strength of the atmospheric overturning circulation decreases as(More)
The sensitivity of Earth's climate to an external radiative forcing depends critically on the response of water vapor. We use the global cooling and drying of the atmosphere that was observed after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo to test model predictions of the climate feedback from water vapor. Here, we first highlight the success of the model in(More)
The response of tropical cyclone activity to global warming is widely debated. It is often assumed that warmer sea surface temperatures provide a more favourable environment for the development and intensification of tropical cyclones, but cyclone genesis and intensity are also affected by the vertical thermodynamic properties of the atmosphere. Here we use(More)
Since the mid-nineteenth century the Earth's surface has warmed, and models indicate that human activities have caused part of the warming by altering the radiative balance of the atmosphere. Simple theories suggest that global warming will reduce the strength of the mean tropical atmospheric circulation. An important aspect of this tropical circulation is(More)
s Abstract Water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas, the most important gaseous source of infrared opacity in the atmosphere. As the concentrations of other greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, increase because of human activity, it is centrally important to predict how the water vapor distribution will be affected. To the extent that water(More)
It is widely assumed that variations in Earth's radiative energy budget at large time and space scales are small. We present new evidence from a compilation of over two decades of accurate satellite data that the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) tropical radiative energy budget is much more dynamic and variable than previously thought. Results indicate that the(More)
[1] To help understand possible impacts of anthropogenic greenhouse warming on hurricane activity, we assess model-projected changes in large-scale environmental factors tied to variations in hurricane statistics. This study focuses on vertical wind shear (V s) over the tropical Atlantic during hurricane season, the increase of which has been historically(More)