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Evaluation of Hemispheric Asymmetries in Marine Cloud Radiative Properties
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
Number of Authors: 4
2017 (English)In: Journal of Climate, ISSN 0894-8755, E-ISSN 1520-0442, Vol. 30, no 11, 4131-4147 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The hemispheric symmetry of albedo and its contributing factors in satellite observations and global climate models is evaluated. The analysis is performed on the annual mean time scale, on which a bimodality in the joint distribution of albedo and cloud fraction is evident, resulting from tropical and subtropical clouds and midlatitude clouds, respectively. Hemispheric albedo symmetry is not found in individual ocean-only latitude bands; comparing the Northern and Southern Hemisphere (NH and SH), regional mean albedo is higher in the NH tropics and lower in the NH subtropics and midlatitudes than in the SH counterparts. This follows the hemispheric asymmetry of cloud fraction. In midlatitudes and tropics the hemispheric asymmetry in cloud albedo also contributes to the asymmetry in total albedo, whereas in the subtropics the cloud albedo is more hemispherically symmetric. According to the observations, cloud contributions to compensation for higher clear-sky albedo in the NH come primarily from cloud albedo in midlatitudes and cloud amount in the subtropics. Current-generation climate models diverge in their representation of these relationships, but common features of the model-data comparison include weaker-than-observed asymmetry in cloud fraction and cloud albedo in the tropics, weaker or reversed cloud fraction asymmetry in the subtropics, and agreement with observed cloud albedo asymmetry in the midlatitudes. Models on average reproduce the NH-SH asymmetry in total albedo over the 60 degrees S-60 degrees N ocean but show higher occurrence of brighter clouds in the SH compared to observations. The albedo bias in both hemispheres is reinforced by overestimated clear-sky albedo in the models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 30, no 11, 4131-4147 p.
Keyword [en]
Albedo, Clouds, Climate models, Diagnostics, Model comparison, Annual variations
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-144799DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0263.1ISI: 000401007500012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-144799DiVA: diva2:1121680
Available from: 2017-07-12 Created: 2017-07-12 Last updated: 2017-07-12Bibliographically approved

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Bender, Frida A. -M.
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CiteExportLink to record
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