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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-02-14
    Description: Extratropical volcanic eruptions are commonly thought to be less effective at driving large-scale surface cooling than tropical eruptions. However, recent minor extratropical eruptions have produced a measurable climate impact, and proxy records suggest that the most extreme Northern Hemisphere cold period of the Common Era was initiated by an extratropical eruption in 536 CE. Using ice-core-derived volcanic stratospheric sulfur injections and Northern Hemisphere summer temperature reconstructions from tree rings, we show here that in proportion to their estimated stratospheric sulfur injection, extratropical explosive eruptions since 750 CE have produced stronger hemispheric cooling than tropical eruptions. Stratospheric aerosol simulations demonstrate that for eruptions with a sulfur injection magnitude and height equal to that of the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption, extratropical eruptions produce time-integrated radiative forcing anomalies over the Northern Hemisphere extratropics up to 80% greater than tropical eruptions, as decreases in aerosol lifetime are overwhelmed by the enhanced radiative impact associated with the relative confinement of aerosol to a single hemisphere. The model results are consistent with the temperature reconstructions, and elucidate how the radiative forcing produced by extratropical eruptions is strongly dependent on the eruption season and sulfur injection height within the stratosphere.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-04-11
    Description: Radiative forcing from volcanic aerosol impacts surface temperatures; however, the background climate state also affects the response. A key question thus concerns whether constraining forcing estimates is more important than constraining initial conditions for accurate simulation and attribution of posteruption climate anomalies. Here we test whether different realistic volcanic forcing magnitudes for the 1815 Tambora eruption yield distinguishable ensemble surface temperature responses. We perform a cluster analysis on a superensemble of climate simulations including three 30-member ensembles using the same set of initial conditions but different volcanic forcings based on uncertainty estimates. Results clarify how forcing uncertainties can overwhelm initial-condition spread in boreal summer due to strong direct radiative impact, while the effect of initial conditions predominate in winter, when dynamics contribute to large ensemble spread. In our setup, current uncertainties affecting reconstruction-simulation comparisons prevent conclusions about the magnitude of the Tambora eruption and its relation to the “year without summer.”
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2016-11-14
    Description: Assessments of climate sensitivity to projected greenhouse gas concentrations underpin environmental policy decisions, with such assessments often based on model simulations of climate during recent centuries and millennia1, 2, 3. These simulations depend critically on accurate records of past aerosol forcing from global-scale volcanic eruptions, reconstructed from measurements of sulphate deposition in ice cores4, 5, 6. Non-uniform transport and deposition of volcanic fallout mean that multiple records from a wide array of ice cores must be combined to create accurate reconstructions. Here we re-evaluated the record of volcanic sulphate deposition using a much more extensive array of Antarctic ice cores. In our new reconstruction, many additional records have been added and dating of previously published records corrected through precise synchronization to the annually dated West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide ice core7, improving and extending the record throughout the Common Era. Whereas agreement with existing reconstructions is excellent after 1500, we found a substantially different history of volcanic aerosol deposition before 1500; for example, global aerosol forcing values from some of the largest eruptions (for example, 1257 and 1458) previously were overestimated by 20–30% and others underestimated by 20–50%.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2012-02-23
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 5
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    In:  [Poster] In: WCRP OSC Climate Research in Service to Society, 24.-28.10.2011, Denver, USA .
    Publication Date: 2012-07-06
    Description: The SPARC Data Initiative aims to produce trace gas climatologies for a number of species from a number of instruments. In order to properly compare these climatologies, and interpret differences between them, it is necessary to know the uncertainty in each calculated climatological mean field. The inhomogeneous and finite temporal-spatial sampling pattern of each instrument can lead to biases and uncertainties in the mean climatologies. Sampling which is unevenly weighted in time and space leads to biases between a data set's climatology and the truth. Furthermore, the systematic sampling patterns of some instruments may mean that uncertainties in mean fields calculated through traditional methods that assume random sampling may be inappropriate. We aim to address these issues through an exercise wherein high resolution chemical fields from a coupled Chemistry Climate Model are sub-sampled based on the sampling pattern of each instrument. Climatologies based on the sub-sampled data can be compared to those calculated with the full data set, in order to assess sampling biases. Furthermore, investigating the ensemble variability of climatologies based on subsampled fields will allow us to assess the proper methodology for estimating the uncertainty in climatological mean fields.
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 6
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    In:  [Poster] In: XVIII INQUA-Congress Quaternary sciences – the view from the mountains : XVIII International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA)-Congress, 21.-27.07.2011, Bern, Switzerland .
    Publication Date: 2012-07-06
    Description: Large tropical volcanic eruptions have been observed to have a significant influence on the large-scale circulation patterns of the Northern Hemisphere, through mechanisms related to the radiative effects of the sulfate aerosols resulting from the volcanic injection of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. While no such volcanically induced anomalies in Southern Hemisphere circulation have yet been observed, we find that in general circulation model simulations, eruptions with sulfur dioxide injections larger than that of the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption do result in significant circulation changes in the SH, specifically an enhanced positive phase of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM). We explore the mechanisms for such a SAM response, as well as the corresponding changes in SH temperature, sea ice and precipitation. We also explore how the anomalously strong zonal winds characteristic of the positive SAM regime affect the rate of sulfate deposition to the Antarctic ice-sheet. We suggest that the use of ice-core sulfate records as a proxy for past volcanic activity may benefit from including knowledge of, or better assumptions regarding the changes in large scale atmospheric circulation after large tropical eruptions.
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 7
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    In:  [Talk] In: EGU General Assembly 2011, 03.-08.04.2011, Vienna, Austria .
    Publication Date: 2012-02-23
    Description: Large tropical volcanic eruptions have been observed to have a significant influence on the large-scale circulation patterns of the Northern Hemisphere, through mechanisms related to the radiative effects of the sulfate aerosols resulting from the volcanic injection of SO2 into the stratosphere. While no such volcanically induced anomalies in Southern Hemisphere circulation have yet been observed, we find that general circulation model simulations of eruptions with SO2 injections larger than that of the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption do result in significant circulation changes in the SH, specifically an enhanced positive phase of the southern annular mode (SAM). We explore the mechanisms for such a SAM response, as well as the corresponding changes in SH temperature, sea ice and precipitation. We also explore how the anomalously strong zonal winds characteristic of the positive SAM regime affect the rate of sulfate deposition to the Antarctic ice-sheet, and related implications for ice-core based reconstructions of past volcanic activity. This study has relevance for better understanding SAM forcing mechanisms, interpreting observed SAM time series, and predicting future SAM changes after major volcanic eruptions.
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2018-01-19
    Description: The Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS) on board the Canadian SCISAT-1 satellite (launched in August 2003) measures over 30 different atmospheric species, including six nitrogen trace gases that are needed to quantify the stratospheric NOy budget. We combine volume mixing ratio (VMR) profiles for NO, NO2, HNO3, N2O5, ClONO2, and HNO4 to determine a zonally averaged NOy climatology on monthly and 3 month combined means (December–February, March–May, June–August, and September–November) at 5° latitude spacing and on 33 pressure surfaces. Peak NOy VMR concentrations (15–20 ppbv) are situated at about 3 hPa (∼40 km) in the tropics, while they are typically lower at about 10 hPa (∼30 km) in the midlatitudes. Mean NOy VMRs are similar in both the northern and southern polar regions, with the exception of large enhancements periodically observed in the upper stratosphere and lower mesosphere. These are primarily due to enhancements of NO due to energetic particle precipitation and downward transport. Other features in the NOy budget are related to descent in the polar vortex, heterogeneous chemistry, and denitrification processes. Comparison of the ACE-FTS NOy budget is made to both the Odin and ATMOS NOy data sets, showing in both cases a good level of agreement, such that relative differences are typically better than 20%. The NOy climatological products are available through the ACE website and are a supplement to the paper. - A middle-atmosphere NOy climatology has been produced using ACE-FTS measurements; - A robust method for quality controlling the input data has been developed - Good agreement is found between ACE-FTS NOy climatology and other climatologies
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 9
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    In:  [Talk] In: SFB 574 Retreat, 07.-08.09.2011, Sankelmark, Germany .
    Publication Date: 2012-02-23
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2012-02-23
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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