Sensitivity analysis of a radiative-convective model by the adjoint method.

M. C.G. Hall, D. G. Cacuci, M. E. Schlesinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work demonstrates how the adjoint method can be applied to a radiative/convective model (RCM) of the climate. This model includes 312 parameters and contains the nonlinear phenomena characteristic of radiatively-coupled processes. A brief mathematical description is presented of the RCM. The mathematical definition of sensitivity, the derivation of the adjoint equations satisfied by the adjoint functions, and the expressions of sensitivities in terms of these adjoint functions is described. Also, uncertainties in the model results are expressed formally in terms of sensitivities and parameter covariances. An analysis of the numerical values obtained for the sensitivities, an illustration of the use of sensitivities, and a discussion of computational requirements are presented. Finally, the results of this work are summarized, and their relevance to future application of the adjoint method to the sensitivity analysis of general circulation models is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJ. ATMOS. SCI.
Issue number9 , Sep. 1982, p.2038-2050.
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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