478 Regional Warming Amplification and Land Surface Feedbacks

Tuesday, 9 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Ethan David Coffel, Columbia Univ., New York, NY; and R. M. Horton

Significant seasonal variations in warming are projected in some regions, especially central Europe, the southeastern U.S., and central South America. Europe in particular may experience up to 2°C more warming during June, July, and August than in the annual mean, enhancing the risk of extreme summertime heat. Previous research has shown that heat waves in Europe and other regions are driven by seasonal soil moisture variations, and that in general land-surface feedbacks have a strong effect on seasonal temperature anomalies. In this study, we show that the seasonal anomalies in warming are also linked to land-surface feedbacks. We find that in regions with amplified warming during the hot season, surface soil moisture levels generally decline and Bowen ratios increase as a result of a preferential partitioning of incoming energy into sensible vs. latent. The CMIP5 model suite shows significant variability in the strength of land-atmosphere coupling and in projections of future precipitation and soil moisture. Due to the dependence of seasonal warming on land-surface processes, these inter-model variations influence the projected summertime warming amplification and contribute to the uncertainty in projections of future extreme heat.
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