This study uses the NASA Global Modeling Initiative (GMI) 3-D chemical transport model (CTM) for assessments of indirect forcing and its sensitivity to the treatment of aerosol, aerosol-cloud interactions and meteorological fields. Three different meteorological datasets from NASA Data Assimilation Office (DAO), NASA finite volume GCM (FVGCM) and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies version II' (GISS II') GCM were used. GMI is ideal for this study as different model components (such as meteorological fields and chemical mechanisms) can easily be interchanged under the same model framework to capture the first aerosol indirect effect (AIE), and its sensitivity to parameterizations and meteorological fields. Cloud droplet number concentration was calculated by implementing both diagnostic and physically based droplet parameterizations. Derived cloud properties, such as cloud optical thickness and effective radius were compared with the remotely sensed data from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). GMI was able to capture the spatial variability and the land-ocean contrast observed in the satellite record. Depending on the meteorological field and droplet parameterization used, the annual mean first AIE ranged from -0.99 to -1.48 W m-2. It is found that, roughly 80% of the variation is attributed to changes in the meteorology (primarily from variations in liquid water path), while the remaining 20% is attributed to different cloud droplet parameterizations.