Incorrect Asian aerosols affecting the attribution and projection of regional climate change in CMIP6 models Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractAnthropogenic aerosol (AA) forcing has been shown as a critical driver of climate change over Asia since the mid-20th century. Here we show that almost all Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) models fail to capture the observed dipole pattern of aerosol optical depth (AOD) trends over Asia during 20062014, last decade of CMIP6 historical simulation, due to an opposite trend over eastern China compared with observations. The incorrect AOD trend over China is attributed to problematic AA emissions adopted by CMIP6. There are obvious differences in simulated regional aerosol radiative forcing and temperature responses over Asia when using two different emissions inventories (one adopted by CMIP6; the other from Peking university, a more trustworthy inventory) to driving a global aerosol-climate model separately. We further show that some widely adopted CMIP6 pathways (after 2015) also significantly underestimate the more recent decline in AA emissions over China. These flaws may bring about errors to the CMIP6-based regional climate attribution over Asia for the last two decades and projection for the next few decades, previously anticipated to inform a wide range of impact analysis.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 1.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, Z., Lin, L., Xu, Y., Che, H., Zhang, X., Zhang, H., ... Xie, B.

citation count

  • 26

complete list of authors

  • Wang, Zhili||Lin, Lei||Xu, Yangyang||Che, Huizheng||Zhang, Xiaoye||Zhang, Hua||Dong, Wenjie||Wang, Chense||Gui, Ke||Xie, Bing

publication date

  • January 2021