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Seasonal climatic effects and feedbacks of anthropogenic heat release due to global energy consumption with CAM5

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Abstract

Anthropogenic heat release (AHR) is the heat generated in global energy consumption, which has not been considered in global climate models generally. The global high-resolution AHR from 1992 to 2013, which is estimated by using the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP)/Operational Linescan System (OLS) satellite data, is implemented into the Community Atmosphere Model version 5 (CAM5). The seasonal climatic effects and possible feedbacks of AHR are examined in this study. The modeling results show that AHR increases the global annual mean surface temperature and land surface temperature by 0.02 ± 0.01 K (1σ uncertainty) and 0.05 ± 0.02 K (1σ uncertainty), respectively. The global climatic effect of AHR varies with season: with a stronger climatic effect in the boreal winter leading to global mean land surface temperature increases by 0.10 ± 0.01 K (1σ uncertainty). In the selected regions (40°N–60°N, 0°E–45°E) of Central and Western Europe the average surface temperature increases by 0.46 K in the boreal summer, and in the selected regions (45°N–75°N, 30°E–140°E) of northern Eurasia the average surface temperature increases by 0.83 K in the boreal winter. AHR changes the height and thermodynamic structure of the global planetary boundary layer, as well as the stability of the lower troposphere, which affects the global atmospheric circulation and low cloud fraction. In addition, at the surface both the shortwave radiation flux in the boreal summer and the down-welling longwave flux in the boreal winter change significantly, as a result of the change in low clouds caused by the effect of AHR. This study suggests a possible new mechanism of AHR effect on global climate through changing the global low-cloud fraction, which is crucial for global energy balance, by modifying the thermodynamic structure and stability of the lower troposphere. Thus this study improves our understanding of the global climate change caused by human activities.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41505126 and 41865001), the Program for key Laboratory in University of Yunnan Province, and Open Project of the Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling of Tsinghua University in 2017.

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Chen, B., Wu, C., Liu, X. et al. Seasonal climatic effects and feedbacks of anthropogenic heat release due to global energy consumption with CAM5. Clim Dyn 52, 6377–6390 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-018-4528-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-018-4528-1

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