Data from: Expanding the Design Space of Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering to Include Precipitation-Based Objectives and Explore Tradeoffs

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Previous climate modeling studies demonstrate the ability of feedback-regulated, stratospheric aerosol geoengineering with injection at multiple independent latitudes to meet multiple simultaneous temperature-based objectives in the presence of anthropogenic climate change. However, the impacts of climate change are not limited to rising temperatures, but also include changes in precipitation, loss of sea ice, and many more; knowing how a given geoengineering strategy will affect each of these climate metrics is vital to understanding the limits and trade-offs of geoengineering. In our study, "Expanding the Design Space of Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering to Include Precipitation-Based Metrics and Explore Tradeoffs," we introduce a new method of visualizing the design space in which desired climate outcomes are represented by 2-D surfaces on a 3-D graph, and we then use this visual model to design two new strategies for feedback-regulated aerosol injection. These strategies are simulated using the Community Earth System Model with the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model CESM1(WACCM); the data presented here contains the results of those simulations. The first simultaneously manages global mean temperature, tropical precipitation centroid, and Arctic sea ice extent (abbreviated T0/ITCZ/SSI), while the second manages global mean precipitation, tropical precipitation centroid, and Arctic sea ice extent (abbreviated P0/ITCZ/SSI). Both simulations control the tropical precipitation centroid to within 5% of the goal, and the latter controls global mean precipitation to within 1% of the goal. Additionally, the first simulation over-compensates sea ice, while the second under-compensates sea ice; all of these results are consistent with the expectations of our design space model. In addition to showing that precipitation-based climate metrics can be managed using feedback alongside other goals, our simulations validate the utility of our design space visualization in predicting our climate model behavior under a given geoengineering strategy, and together they help illustrate the fundamental limits and trade-offs of stratospheric aerosol geoengineering.

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We would like to acknowledge high-performance computing support from Cheyenne (doi:10.5065/D6RX99HX) provided by NCAR's Computational and Information Systems Laboratory, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Support for WL and DM was provided by the National Science Foundation through agreement CBET-1818759. Support for BK was provided in part by the National Sciences Foundation through agreement CBET-1931641, the Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute, and the Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge initiative. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by Battelle Memorial Institute under contract DE-AC05-76RL01830. The CESM project is supported primarily by the National Science Foundation. This work was supported by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which is a major facility sponsored by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement No. 1852977.

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geogineering; climate engineering; solar radiation management; earth system model


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Lee, W., MacMartin, D., Visioni, D., & Kravitz, B. (2020). Expanding the design space of stratospheric aerosol geoengineering to include precipitation-based objectives and explore trade-offs. Earth Syst. Dynam., 11(4), 1051–1072.

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