Richard T Wetherald

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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)
Radiative effects of anthropogenic changes in atmospheric composition are expected to cause climate changes, in particular an intensification of the global water cycle with a consequent increase in flood risk. But the detection of anthropogenically forced changes in flooding is difficult because of the substantial natural variability; the dependence of(More)
The geographical distribution of the change in soil wetness in response to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide was investigated by using a mathematical model of climate. Responding to the increase in carbon dioxide, soil moisture in the model would be reduced in summer over extensive regions of the middle and high latitudes, such as the North American(More)
Understanding the cause of differences among general circulation model projections of carbon dioxide-induced climatic change is a necessary step toward improving the models. An intercomparison of 14 atmospheric general circulation models, for which sea surface temperature perturbations were used as a surrogate climate change, showed that there was a roughly(More)
Snow feedback is expected to amplify global warming caused by increasing concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases. The conventional explanation is that a warmer Earth will have less snow cover, resulting in a darker planet that absorbs more solar radiation. An intercomparison of 17 general circulation models, for which perturbations of sea surface(More)
Global warming caused by an increase in the concentrations of greenhouse gases, is the direct result of greenhouse gas-induced radiative forcing. When a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide is considered, this forcing differed substantially among 15 atmospheric general circulation models. Although there are several potential causes, the largest(More)
It has been suggested that, unless a major effort is made, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide may rise above four times the pre-industrial level in a few centuries. Here we use a coupled atmosphere-ocean-land model to explore the response of the global water cycle to such a large increase in carbon dioxide, focusing on river discharge and soil(More)
The need to understand differences among general circulation model projections of CO2-induced climatic change has motivated the present study, which provides an intercomparison and interpretation of climate feedback processes in 19 atmospheric general circulation models. This intercomparison uses sea surface temperature change as a surrogate for climate(More)