D. W. Pierce,
L. M. Russell,
A. J. Miller,
R. C. J. Somerville,
C. H. Twohy, S.J. Ghan,
and P. J. Rasch, 2015:
Interannual to decadal climate variability of sea salt aerosols in
the coupled climate model
Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 120, 1502-1519.
This study examines multi-year climate variability associated with sea salt aerosols and their
contribution to the variability of shortwave cloud forcing (SWCF) using a 150-year simulation
for pre-industrial conditions of the Community Earth System Model version 1.0 (CESM1). The
results suggest that changes in sea salt and related cloud and radiative properties on interannual
timescales are dominated by the ENSO cycle. Sea salt variability on longer (interdecadal)
timescales is associated with low-frequency variability in the Pacific Ocean similar to the
interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO), but does not show a statistically significant spectral peak.
A multivariate regression suggests that sea salt aerosol variability may contribute to SWCF
variability in the tropical Pacific, explaining up to 20-30% of the variance in that region.
Elsewhere, there is only a small aerosol influence on SWCF through modifying cloud droplet
number and liquid water path that contributes to the change of cloud effective radius and cloud
optical depth (and hence cloud albedo), producing a multi-year aerosol-cloud-wind interaction.