Observational estimation of radiative feedback to surface air temperature over Northern High Latitudes

Jiwon Hwang, Yong Sang Choi, Won Moo Kim, Hui Su, Jonathan H. Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The high-latitude climate system contains complicated, but largely veiled physical feedback processes. Climate predictions remain uncertain, especially for the Northern High Latitudes (NHL; north of 60°N), and observational constraint on climate modeling is vital. This study estimates local radiative feedbacks for NHL based on the CERES/Terra satellite observations during March 2000–November 2014. The local shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) radiative feedback parameters are calculated from linear regression of radiative fluxes at the top of the atmosphere on surface air temperatures. These parameters are estimated by the de-seasonalization and 12-month moving average of the radiative fluxes over NHL. The estimated magnitudes of the SW and the LW radiative feedbacks in NHL are 1.88 ± 0.73 and 2.38 ± 0.59 W m−2 K−1, respectively. The parameters are further decomposed into individual feedback components associated with surface albedo, water vapor, lapse rate, and clouds, as a product of the change in climate variables from ERA-Interim reanalysis estimates and their pre-calculated radiative kernels. The results reveal the significant role of clouds in reducing the surface albedo feedback (1.13 ± 0.44 W m−2 K−1 in the cloud-free condition, and 0.49 ± 0.30 W m−2 K−1 in the all-sky condition), while the lapse rate feedback is predominant in LW radiation (1.33 ± 0.18 W m−2 K−1). However, a large portion of the local SW and LW radiative feedbacks were not simply explained by the sum of these individual feedbacks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-628
Number of pages14
JournalClimate Dynamics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • High-latitude climate feedback
  • Local radiative feedback
  • Observational estimates of feedback
  • Radiative kernel


Dive into the research topics of 'Observational estimation of radiative feedback to surface air temperature over Northern High Latitudes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this