Climate impact of volcanic eruptions: the sensitivity to eruption season and latitude in MPI-ESM ensemble experiments.

Citation metadata

Date: Sept. 9, 2021
From: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics(Vol. 21, Issue 17)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 350 words

Document controls

Main content

Abstract :

Explosive volcanic eruptions influence near-surface temperature and precipitation especially in the monsoon regions, but the impact varies with different eruption seasons and latitudes. To study this variability, two groups of ensemble simulations are performed with volcanic eruptions in June and December at 0.sup." representing an equatorial eruption (EQ) and at 30.sup." N and 30.sup." S representing Northern and Southern Hemisphere eruptions (NH and SH). Results show significant cooling especially in areas with enhanced volcanic aerosol content. Compared to the EQ eruption, stronger cooling emerges in the Northern Hemisphere after the NH eruption and in the Southern Hemisphere after the SH eruption. Stronger precipitation variations occur in the tropics than in the high latitudes. Summer and winter eruptions lead to similar hydrological impacts. The NH and the SH eruptions have reversed climate impacts, especially in the regions of the South Asian summer monsoon (SASM). After the NH eruption, direct radiative effects of volcanic aerosols induce changes in the interhemispheric and land-sea thermal contrasts, which move the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) southward and weaken the SASM. This reduces the moisture transport from the ocean and reduces cloud formation and precipitation in India. The subsequent radiative feedbacks due to regional cloud cover lead to warming in India. After the SH eruption, vice versa, a northward movement of the ITCZ and strengthening of the SASM, along with enhanced cloud formation, lead to enhanced precipitation and cooling in India. This emphasizes the sensitivity of regional climate impacts of volcanic eruptions to eruption latitude, which relates to the dynamical response of the climate system to radiative effects of volcanic aerosols and the subsequent regional physical feedbacks. Our results indicate the importance of considering dynamical and physical feedbacks to understand the mechanism behind regional climate responses to volcanic eruptions and may also shed light on the climate impact and potential mechanisms of stratospheric aerosol engineering.

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A674852201