The response of stratospheric water vapor to climate change driven by different forcing agents Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • Abstract. We investigate the response of stratospheric water vapor (SWV) to different forcing agents within the Precipitation Driver and Response Model Intercomparison Project (PDRMIP) framework. For each model and forcing agent, we break the SWV response into a slow response, which is coupled to surface temperature changes, and a fast SWV, which is the direct response to external forcing, but without any mediation from the surface temperature. Our results show that, for most climate perturbations, the slow SWV response dominates the fast response. The slow SWV response exhibits a similar sensitivity to surface temperature across all climate perturbations. Specifically, the sensitivity is 0.35ppmvK1 in the tropical lower stratosphere (TLS), 2.1ppmvK1 in the northern hemispheric lowermost stratosphere (LMS), and 0.97ppmvK1 in the southern hemispheric LMS. The fast SWV response only dominates the slow SWV response when the forcing agent radiatively heats the cold point region for example, black carbon, which directly heats the atmosphere by absorbing solar radiation. The fast SWV response in the TLS is primarily controlled by the fast adjustment of cold point temperature across all climate perturbations. This control becomes weaker at higher altitudes and at higher latitudes below 150hPa.

altmetric score

  • 22.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, X., & Dessler, A. E.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Wang, Xun||Dessler, Andrew Emory

Book Title

  • EGUsphere

publication date

  • June 2020