83rd Annual

Tuesday, 11 February 2003
Climate Sensitivity and Thermal Inertia
Qigang Wu, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX; and G. R. North
We compare several Atmosphere/Ocean General Circulation model control runs by fitting long control runs to a simple discrete (annual averages) stochastic model: Rate of change of global heat content=difference of absorbed and emitted radiation + white noise. If the heat content is taken to be proportional to the surface temperature we can estimate the effective (broad frequency-band averaged) heat capacity for the system by a regression procedure. We find a wide range of effective heat capacities that correlate significantly with the published sensitivities of the models. Models with large sensitivities have large thermal inertia. Several interpretations are discussed.

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