GFDL - Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

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GFDL Research Highlights

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August 24, 2012 - Mixing of dust and NH3 observed globally over anthropogenic dust sources
Dust is one of the most abundant aerosols in the atmosphere, and by scattering and absorbing solar radiation, it affects climate. Anthropogenic dust is largely ignored in most current climate studies. We show how pervasive it is throughout the world, and that it is mostly associated with croplands. Read more...

August 17, 2012 - Global scale attribution of anthropogenic and natural dust sources and their emission rates based on MODIS Deep Blue aerosol products
Dust is one of the most abundant aerosols in the atmosphere, and by scattering and absorbing solar radiation, it affects climate. In particular, anthropogenic dust is a significant source of radiative forcing on the climate system. Increasing numerical resolution of climate models provides an opportunity to create a realistic, high-resolution dust-source inventory. Read more...

August 10, 2012 - Global calcite cycling constrained by sediment preservation controls
The primary objective of this work was to build a set of internally consistent and computationally efficient algorithms to represent the regionally varying production, water column dissolution, and sediment preservation of pelagic calcite, and analyze the biogeochemical implications. Read more...

August 3, 2012 - Northern high latitude heat budget decomposition and transient warming
The future response of Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) to increased carbon dioxide is known to be uncertain, with models showing 21st century weakening of 0 to 50%, according to the IPCC 4th report. Read more...

July 23, 2012 - Evaluation of cloud and water vapor simulations in CMIP5 climate models using NASA "A-Train" satellite observations
Clouds and water vapor are among the difficult features of the atmosphere for global climate models to simulate because they are affected by physical processes that operate over very small areas compared to the weather patterns that the models explicitly calculate. The authors used satellite data to assess the representation of clouds and water vapor simulated by several climate models that will participate in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). Read more...

July 16, 2012 - Nonlinear climate response to regional brightening of tropical marine stratocumulus
To combat global warming, there have been suggestions to increase the albedo of (i.e. brighten) low-level marine clouds by deliberately injecting them with aerosols. Though such cloud seeding could mitigate global-mean temperature rise through the aerosol indirect effects, the full climate response to this geoengineering scheme is poorly understood. For example, one prior simulation of cloud seeding exhibited catastrophic rainfall decrease over the Amazon, while another showed moderate rainfall increase there. Read more...

July 9, 2012 - Biases in the Atlantic ITCZ in seasonal-interannual variations for a coarse and a high resolution coupled climate model
Using two fully coupled ocean-atmosphere GFDL models, CM2.1 and CM2.5 (a new high-resolution climate model based on CM2.1), the characteristics and sources of SST and precipitation biases associated with the Atlantic ITCZ were investigated and compared. CM2.5 has an improved simulation of the annual mean and the annual cycle of the rainfall over the Sahel and the northern South America, while CM2.1 shows excessive Sahel rainfall and lack of northern South America rainfall in boreal summer. Read more...

July 1, 2012 - Projected Response of an Endangered Marine Turtle Population to Climate Change
Assessing the potential impacts of climate change on individual species and populations is essential for the stewardship of ecosystems and biodiversity. Marine turtles must lay eggs in sandy beaches and thus climate change can affect both their marine and terrestrial habitat. The population of critically endangered eastern Pacific leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) nesting on the northwest coast of Costa Rica has been studied in terms of its sensitivity to contemporary climate variability in the nesting beach and ocean. Read more...

June 8, 2012 - Physical processes that impact the evolution of global mean sea level in ocean climate models
Global mean sea level reflects the combined effects of the total mass of seawater and its global mean density. Adding to the net seawater mass, as from melting land ice, raises sea level. Likewise, lowering seawater density, as when water is heated, raises sea level through so-called steric effects. Read more...

June 1, 2012 - Model Precipitation Bias over the Southwestern Equatorial Indian Ocean
This study investigated the spatio-temporal features of the serious positive precipitation bias over the southwestern equatorial Indian Ocean which is found in most current coupled and uncoupled general circulation models, and its links with the large scale monsoon circulation. The study attempted to answer two questions: Is there a common identifiable mechanism forcing the local bias? Does the local bias have an influence on the continental simulated monsoon precipitation? Read more...

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