Isolating the Evolving Global Climate Responses to Greenhouse Gases and Anthropogenic Aerosols with the Community Earth System Mode

Anthropogenic aerosols and greenhouse gases are the dominant drivers of forced climate change over the past century, with contrasting effects on earth’s radiative energy balance. In addition to their opposing effects on global-mean temperature, they impact regional climate in distinctive ways due to their differing geographical distributions and temporal variations. Here, we examine their unique fingerprints on the evolution of the coupled ocean-atmosphere-land-ice system using a suite of climate model experiments designed to isolate their influences from other sources of forced climate change. The large number of realizations in our experiments also allows us to assess how detectable their impacts are relative to internal fluctuations of the climate system.