Quantifying Contributions to Polar Warming Amplification in a Coupled General Circulation Model
The radiative energy flux perturbations due to the doubling of CO2 and water vapor feedback lead to a stronger warming in low latitudes than in high latitudes at the surface and throughout the entire troposphere. In the vertical, the temperature changes due to the doubling of CO2 and water vapor feedback are maximum near the surface and decrease with height at all latitudes. The simultaneous warming reduction in low latitudes and amplification in high latitudes by the enhanced poleward dry static energy transport reverses the poleward decreasing warming pattern at the surface and in the lower troposphere, but it is not able to do so in the upper troposphere. The enhanced vertical moist convections in the tropics acts to amplify the warming in the upper troposphere at an expense of reducing the warming in the lower troposphere and surface warming in the tropics. As a result, the final warming pattern shows the co-existence of a reduction of the meridional temperature gradient at the surface and in the lower troposphere with an increase of the meridional temperature gradient in the upper troposphere. In the tropics, the total warming in the upper troposphere is stronger than the surface warming.