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Designing a radiative antidote to CO2
  • Jacob Thomas Seeley,
  • Nicholas Lutsko,
  • David W Keith
Jacob Thomas Seeley
Harvard University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Nicholas Lutsko
Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
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David W Keith
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Previous results indicate that the global hydrological cycle is more sensitive to Solar Radiation Modification (SRM) than is the surface temperature. Thus, it is expected that restoring temperature with SRM would decrease evaporation and precipitation. However, here we show that a more complete radiative antidote to CO2 can be obtained by spectrally tuning the SRM intervention, reducing insolation at some wavelengths more than others. By concentrating solar dimming at near-infrared wavelengths, where H2O has strong absorption bands, the direct effect of CO2 on the tropospheric energy budget can be offset, which minimizes perturbations to the hydrological cycle. Idealized cloud-resolving simulations of radiative-convective equilibrium confirm that spectrally-tuned SRM can simultaneously maintain surface temperature and precipitation at their unperturbed values even as large quantities of CO2 are added to the atmosphere. These results illuminate the connection between the spectral properties of SRM interventions and their potential impacts on precipitation.