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Comment on “Tropospheric Temperature Response to Stratospheric Ozone Recovery in the 21st Century” by Hu et al. (2011)

Previdi, Michael; Polvani, Lorenzo M.

Stratospheric ozone recovery is expected to figure prominently in twenty-first century climate change. In a recent paper, Hu et al. (2011) argue that one impact of ozone recovery will be to enhance the warming of the surface-troposphere system produced by increases in well-mixed greenhouse gases. Furthermore, this enhanced warming would be strongest in the Northern Hemisphere, which is surprising since previous studies have consistently shown the effects of stratospheric ozone changes to be most pronounced in the Southern Hemisphere. Hu et al. (2011) base their claims largely on differences in the simulated temperature change between two groups of CMIP3 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 3) climate models, one group which included stratospheric ozone recovery in its twenty-first century simulations and a second group which did not. Both groups of models were forced with the same increases in well-mixed greenhouse gases according to the A1B emissions scenario. In the current work, we compare the surface temperature responses of the same two groups of models in a different experiment in which atmospheric CO2 was increased by 1% per year until doubling. We find remarkably similar differences in the simulated surface temperature change between the two sets of models as Hu et al. (2011) found for the A1B experiment, suggesting that the enhanced warming which they attribute to stratospheric ozone recovery is actually a reflection of different responses of the two model groups to greenhouse gas forcing.


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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics