Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 57, Issue 6, pp 1363–1373 | Cite as

Climate sensitivities of two versions of FGOALS model to idealized radiative forcing

  • XiaoLong Chen
  • TianJun ZhouEmail author
  • Zhun Guo
Research Paper


Projections of future climate change by climate system models depend on the sensitivities of models to specified greenhouse gases. To reveal and understand the different climate sensitivities of two versions of LASG/IAP climate system model FGOALS-g2 and FGOALS-s2, we investigate the global mean surface air temperature responses to idealized CO2 forcing by using the output of abruptly quadrupling CO2 experiments. The Gregory-style regression method is used to estimate the “radiative forcing” of quadrupled CO2 and equilibrium sensitivity. The model response is separated into a fast-response stage associated with the CO2 forcing during the first 20 years, and a slow-response stage post the first 20 years. The results show that the radiative forcing of CO2 is overestimated due to the positive water-vapor feedback and underestimated due to the fast cloud processes. The rapid response of water vapor in FGOALS-s2 is responsible for the stronger radiative forcing of CO2. The climate sensitivity, defined as the equilibrium temperature change under doubled CO2 forcing, is about 3.7 K in FGOALS-g2 and 4.5 K in FGOALS-s2. The larger sensitivity of FGOALS-s2 is due mainly to the weaker negative longwave clear-sky feedback and stronger positive shortwave clear-sky feedback at the fast-response stage, because of the more rapid response of water vapor increase and sea-ice decrease in FGOALS-s2 than in FGOALS-g2. At the slow-response stage, similar to the fast-response stage, net negative clear-sky feedback is weaker in FGOALS-s2. Nevertheless, the total negative feedback is larger in FGOALS-s2 due to a larger negative shortwave cloud feedback that involves a larger response of total cloud fraction and condensed water path increase. The uncertainties of estimated forcing and net feedback mainly come from the shortwave cloud processes.


climate sensitivity climate response feedbacks FGOALS CMIP5 


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The National Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of Earth ScienceUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Climate Change Research CenterChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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