Extreme temperature and precipitation response to solar dimming and stratospheric aerosol geoengineering

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Abstract

We examine extreme temperature and precipitation under two potential geoengineering methods forming part of the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP). The solar dimming experiment G1 is designed to completely offset the global mean radiative forcing due to a CO<sub>2</sub>-quadrupling experiment (abrupt 4&amp;thinsp;×&amp;thinsp;CO<sub>2</sub>), while in GeoMIP experiment G4, the radiative forcing due to the representative concentration pathway 4.5 (RCP4.5) scenario is partly offset by a simulated layer of aerosols in the stratosphere. Both G1 and G4 geoengineering simulations lead to lower maximum temperatures at higher latitudes, and on land primarily through feedback effects involving high latitude processes such as snow cover, sea ice and soil moisture. Maximum 5-day precipitation increases over subtropical oceans, whereas warm spells decrease markedly in the tropics, and the number of consecutive dry days decreases in most deserts. The precipitation during the tropical cyclone (hurricane) seasons becomes less intense, whilst the remainder of the year becomes wetter. Aerosol injection is more effective than dimming in moderating extreme precipitation (and flooding), possibly due to stratospheric warming by aerosol injection working in tandem with sea surface temperature reductions to moderate extreme tropical storm cyclogenesis. The differences in the response of temperature extremes between the two types of geoengineering are relatively minor. Despite the magnitude of the radiative forcing applied in G1 being ~&amp;thinsp;6.5 times larger than in G4, and differences in the aerosol chemistry and transport schemes amongst the models, one can discern clear differences in the precipitation extremes between the types of geoengineering probably due to the aerosol direct effect and related energetic changes.

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Ji, D., Fang, S., Curry, C. L., Kashimura, H., Watanabe, S., Cole, J., … Moore, J. C. (2018). Extreme temperature and precipitation response to solar dimming and stratospheric aerosol geoengineering. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18(14), 10133–10156. https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-10133-2018

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