Coupled Climate Responses to Recent Australian Wildfire and COVID-19 Emissions Anomalies Estimated in CESM2

Fasullo, J. T. ; Rosenbloom, N. ; Buchholz, R. R. ; Danabasoglu, G. ; Lawrence, D. M. ; Lamarque, J.-F.

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Multiple 50-member ensemble simulations with the Community Earth System Model version 2 are performed to estimate the coupled climate responses to the 2019-2020 Australian wildfires and COVID-19 pandemic policies. The climate response to the pandemic is found to be weak generally, with global-mean net top-of-atmosphere radiative anomalies of +0.23 ± 0.14 W m?2 driving a gradual global warming of 0.05 ± 0.04 K by the end of 2022. While regional anomalies are detectable in aerosol burdens and clear-sky radiation, few significant anomalies exist in other fields due to internal variability. In contrast, the simulated response to Australian wildfires is a strong and rapid cooling, peaking globally at ?0.95 ± 0.15 W m?2 in late 2019 with a global cooling of 0.06 ± 0.04 K by mid-2020. Transport of fire aerosols throughout the Southern Hemisphere increases albedo and drives a strong interhemispheric radiative contrast, with simulated responses that are consistent generally with those to a Southern Hemisphere volcanic eruption.</p>

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