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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2020-01-22
    Description: Halogenated very short-lived substances (VSLSs) are naturally produced in the ocean and emitted to the atmosphere. When transported to the stratosphere, these compounds can have a significant influence on the ozone layer and climate. During a research cruise on RV Sonne in the subtropical and tropical west Indian Ocean in July and August 2014, we measured the VSLSs, methyl iodide (CH3I) and for the first time bromoform (CHBr3) and dibromomethane (CH2Br2), in surface seawater and the marine atmosphere to derive their emission strengths. Using the Lagrangian particle dispersion model FLEXPART with ERA-Interim meteorological fields, we calculated the direct contribution of observed VSLS emissions to the stratospheric halogen burden during the Asian summer monsoon. Furthermore, we compare the in situ calculations with the interannual variability of transport from a larger area of the west Indian Ocean surface to the stratosphere for July 2000–2015. We found that the west Indian Ocean is a strong source for CHBr3 (910 pmol m−2 h−1), very strong source for CH2Br2 (930 pmol m−2 h−1), and an average source for CH3I (460 pmol m−2 h−1). The atmospheric transport from the tropical west Indian Ocean surface to the stratosphere experiences two main pathways. On very short timescales, especially relevant for the shortest-lived compound CH3I (3.5 days lifetime), convection above the Indian Ocean lifts oceanic air masses and VSLSs towards the tropopause. On a longer timescale, the Asian summer monsoon circulation transports oceanic VSLSs towards India and the Bay of Bengal, where they are lifted with the monsoon convection and reach stratospheric levels in the southeastern part of the Asian monsoon anticyclone. This transport pathway is more important for the longer-lived brominated compounds (17 and 150 days lifetime for CHBr3 and CH2Br2). The entrainment of CHBr3 and CH3I from the west Indian Ocean to the stratosphere during the Asian summer monsoon is lower than from previous cruises in the tropical west Pacific Ocean during boreal autumn and early winter but higher than from the tropical Atlantic during boreal summer. In contrast, the projected CH2Br2 entrainment was very high because of the high emissions during the west Indian Ocean cruise. The 16-year July time series shows highest interannual variability for the shortest-lived CH3I and lowest for the longest-lived CH2Br2. During this time period, a small increase in VSLS entrainment from the west Indian Ocean through the Asian monsoon to the stratosphere is found. Overall, this study confirms that the subtropical and tropical west Indian Ocean is an important source region of halogenated VSLSs, especially CH2Br2, to the troposphere and stratosphere during the Asian summer monsoon.
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  • 2
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    Copernicus Publications (EGU)
    In:  Earth System Science Data, 9 . pp. 809-831.
    Publication Date: 2020-01-22
    Description: The injection of sulphur into the stratosphere by explosive volcanic eruptions is the cause of significant climate variability. Based on sulphate records from a suite of ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica, the eVolv2k database includes estimates of the magnitudes and approximate source latitudes of major volcanic stratospheric sulphur injection (VSSI) events from 500 BCE to 1900 CE, constituting an update of prior reconstructions and an extension of the record by 1000 years. The VSSI estimates incorporate improvements to the ice core records in terms of synchronization and dating, refinements to the methods used to estimate VSSI from ice core records, and includes first estimates of the random uncertainties in VSSI values. VSSI estimates for many of the largest eruptions, including Samalas (1257), Tambora (1815) and Laki (1783) are within 10% of prior estimates. A number of strong events are included in eVolv2k which are largely underestimated or not included in earlier VSSI reconstructions, including events in 540, 574, 682 and 1108 CE. The long term annual mean VSSI from major volcanic eruptions is estimated to be ∼ 0.5 Tg [S] yr−1, ∼ 50 % greater than a prior reconstruction, due to the identification of more events and an increase in the magnitude of many intermediate events. A long-term, latitudinally and monthly resolved stratospheric aerosol optical depth (SAOD) time series is reconstructed from the eVolv2k VSSI estimates, and the resulting global mean SAOD is found to be similar (within 33%) to a prior reconstruction for most of the largest eruptions. The long-term (500 BCE–900 CE) average global mean SAOD estimated from the eVolv2k VSSI estimates and including a constant "background" injection of stratospheric sulphur is ∼ 0.014, 30 % greater than a prior reconstruction. These new long-term reconstructions of past VSSI and SAOD variability give context to recent volcanic forcing, suggesting that the 20th century was a period of somewhat weaker than average volcanic forcing, with current best estimates of 20th century mean VSSI and SAOD values being 25 and 14 % less, respectively, than the mean of the 500 BCE to 1900 CE period. The reconstructed VSSI and SAOD data are available at https://doi.org/10.1594/WDCC/eVolv2k_v2〉.
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2020-01-22
    Description: The eruption of Mt. Tambora in 1815 was the largest volcanic eruption of the past 500 years. The eruption had significant climatic impacts, leading to the 1816 "year without a summer", and remains a valuable event from which to understand the climatic effects of large stratospheric volcanic sulfur dioxide injections. The eruption also resulted in one of the strongest and most easily identifiable volcanic sulfate signals in polar ice cores, which are widely used to reconstruct the timing and atmospheric sulfate loading of past eruptions. As part of the Model Intercomparison Project on the climatic response to Volcanic forcing (VolMIP), five state-of-the-art global aerosol models simulated this eruption. We analyse both simulated background (no Tambora) and volcanic (with Tambora) sulfate deposition to polar regions and compare to ice core records. The models simulate overall similar patterns of background sulfate deposition, al-though there are differences in regional details and magnitude. However, the volcanic sulfate deposition varies considerably between the models with differences in timing, spatial pattern and magnitude. Mean simulated deposited sulfate on Antarctica ranges from 19 to 264 kgkm-2 and on Greenland from 31 to 194 kgkm-2, as compared to the mean ice-corederived estimates of roughly 50 kgkm-2 for both Greenland and Antarctica. The ratio of the hemispheric atmospheric sulfate aerosol burden after the eruption to the average ice sheet deposited sulfate varies between models by up to a factor of 15. Sources of this inter-model variability include differences in both the formation and the transport of sulfate aerosol. Our results suggest that deriving relationships between sulfate deposited on ice sheets and atmospheric sulfate burdens from model simulations may be associated with greater uncertainties than previously thought.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-05-23
    Description: Observations and simple theoretical arguments suggest that the Northern Hemisphere (NH) stratospheric polar vortex is stronger in winters following major volcanic eruptions. However, recent studies show that climate models forced by prescribed volcanic aerosol fields fail to reproduce this effect. We investigate the impact of volcanic aerosol forcing on stratospheric dynamics, including the strength of the NH polar vortex, in ensemble simulations with the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model. The model is forced by four different prescribed forcing sets representing the radiative properties of stratospheric aerosol following the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo: two forcing sets are based on observations, and are commonly used in climate model simulations, and two forcing sets are constructed based on coupled aerosol–climate model simulations. For all forcings, we find that simulated temperature and zonal wind anomalies in the NH high latitudes are not directly impacted by anomalous volcanic aerosol heating. Instead, high-latitude effects result from enhancements in stratospheric residual circulation, which in turn result, at least in part, from enhanced stratospheric wave activity. High-latitude effects are therefore much less robust than would be expected if they were the direct result of aerosol heating. Both observation-based forcing sets result in insignificant changes in vortex strength. For the model-based forcing sets, the vortex response is found to be sensitive to the structure of the forcing, with one forcing set leading to significant strengthening of the polar vortex in rough agreement with observation-based expectations. Differences in the dynamical response to the forcing sets imply that reproducing the polar vortex responses to past eruptions, or predicting the response to future eruptions, depends on accurate representation of the space–time structure of the volcanic aerosol forcing.
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The enhancement of the stratospheric aerosol layer by volcanic eruptions induces a complex set of responses causing global and regional climate effects on a broad range of timescales. Uncertainties exist regarding the climatic response to strong volcanic forcing identified in coupled climate simulations that contributed to the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). In order to better understand the sources of these model diversities, the Model Intercomparison Project on the climatic response to Volcanic forcing (VolMIP) has defined a coordinated set of idealized volcanic perturbation experiments to be carried out in alignment with the CMIP6 protocol. VolMIP provides a common stratospheric aerosol data set for each experiment to minimize differences in the applied volcanic forcing. It defines a set of initial conditions to assess how internal climate variability contributes to determining the response. VolMIP will assess to what extent volcanically forced responses of the coupled ocean–atmosphere system are robustly simulated by state-of-the-art coupled climate models and identify the causes that limit robust simulated behavior, especially differences in the treatment of physical processes. This paper illustrates the design of the idealized volcanic perturbation experiments in the VolMIP protocol and describes the common aerosol forcing input data sets to be used.
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  • 6
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    Copernicus Publications (EGU)
    In:  Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 6 (4). pp. 937-948.
    Publication Date: 2016-05-31
    Description: Climatologies of atmospheric observations are often produced by binning measurements according to latitude, and calculating zonal means. The uncertainty in these climatological means is characterized by the standard error of the mean (SEM). However, the usual estimator of the SEM, i.e. the sample standard deviation divided by the square root of the sample size, holds only for uncorrelated randomly sampled measurements. Measurements of the atmospheric state along a satellite orbit cannot always be considered as independent because (a) the time-space interval between two nearest observations is often smaller than the typical scale of variations in the atmospheric state, and (b) the regular time-space sampling pattern of a satellite instrument strongly deviates from random sampling. We have developed an experiment where global chemical fields from a chemistry climate model are sampled according to real sampling patterns of satellite-borne instruments. As case studies, sampling patterns of the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) and Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment Fourier-Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS) satellite instruments are used to iteratively subsample the model O3 fields and produce empirical estimates of the standard error of monthly mean zonal mean model O3 in 5° latitude bins. We find that generally the classic SEM estimator is a conservative estimate of the SEM, i.e. the empirical SEM is often less than the classic estimate. Exceptions occur in instances where the zonal sampling distribution shows non-uniformity with a similar zonal structure as variations in the sampled field, leading to maximum sensitivity to arbitrary phase shifts between the sample distribution and sampled field. The occurrence of such instances is thus very sensitive to slight changes in the sampling distribution, and to the variations in the measured field. This study highlights the need for caution in the interpretation of the oft-used classically computed SEM, and outlines a relatively simple methodology that can be used to assess one component of the uncertainty in monthly mean zonal mean climatologies produced from measurements from satellite-borne instruments
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2020-01-22
    Description: The Stratospheric Sulfur and its Role in Climate (SSiRC) interactive stratospheric aerosol model intercomparison project (ISA-MIP) explores uncertainties in the processes that connect volcanic emission of sulphur gas species and the radiative forcing associated with the resulting enhancement of the stratospheric aerosol layer. The central aim of ISA-MIP is to constrain and improve interactive stratospheric aerosol models and reduce uncertainties in the stratospheric aerosol forcing by comparing results of standardized model experiments with a range of observations. In this paper we present 4 co-ordinated inter-model experiments designed to investigate key processes which influence the formation and temporal development of stratospheric aerosol in different time periods of the observational record. The "Background" (BG) experiment will focus on microphysics and transport processes under volcanically quiescent conditions, when the stratospheric aerosol is controlled by the transport of aerosols and their precursors from the troposphere to the stratosphere. The "Transient Aerosol Record" (TAR) experiment will explore the role of small- to moderate-magnitude volcanic eruptions, anthropogenic sulphur emissions and transport processes over the period 1998–2012 and their role in the warming hiatus. Two further experiments will investigate the stratospheric sulphate aerosol evolution after major volcanic eruptions. The "Historical Eruptions SO2 Emission Assessment" (HErSEA) experiment will focus on the uncertainty in the initial emission of recent large-magnitude volcanic eruptions, while the "Pinatubo Emulation in Multiple models" (PoEMS) experiment will provide a comprehensive uncertainty analysis of the radiative forcing from the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2020-01-22
    Description: The pre-industrial millennium is among the periods selected by the Paleoclimate Model Intercomparison Project (PMIP) for experiments contributing to the sixth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) and the fourth phase of the PMIP (PMIP4). The past1000 transient simulations serve to investigate the response to (mainly) natural forcing under background conditions not too different from today, and to discriminate between forced and internally generated variability on interannual to centennial timescales. This paper describes the motivation and the experimental set-ups for the PMIP4-CMIP6 past1000 simulations, and discusses the forcing agents orbital, solar, volcanic, and land use/land cover changes, and variations in greenhouse gas concentrations. The past1000 simulations covering the pre-industrial millennium from 850 Common Era (CE) to 1849 CE have to be complemented by historical simulations (1850 to 2014 CE) following the CMIP6 protocol. The external forcings for the past1000 experiments have been adapted to provide a seamless transition across these time periods. Protocols for the past1000 simulations have been divided into three tiers. A default forcing data set has been defined for the Tier 1 (the CMIP6 past1000) experiment. However, the PMIP community has maintained the flexibility to conduct coordinated sensitivity experiments to explore uncertainty in forcing reconstructions as well as parameter uncertainty in dedicated Tier 2 simulations. Additional experiments (Tier 3) are defined to foster collaborative model experiments focusing on the early instrumental period and to extend the temporal range and the scope of the simulations. This paper outlines current and future research foci and common analyses for collaborative work between the PMIP and the observational communities (reconstructions, instrumental data).
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  • 9
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    Copernicus Publications (EGU)
    In:  Geoscientific Model Development, 9 (11). pp. 4049-4070.
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Stratospheric sulfate aerosols from volcanic eruptions have a significant impact on the Earth's climate. To include the effects of volcanic eruptions in climate model simulations, the Easy Volcanic Aerosol (EVA) forcing generator provides stratospheric aerosol optical properties as a function of time, latitude, height, and wavelength for a given input list of volcanic eruption attributes. EVA is based on a parameterized three-box model of stratospheric transport and simple scaling relationships used to derive mid-visible (550 nm) aerosol optical depth and aerosol effective radius from stratospheric sulfate mass. Precalculated look-up tables computed from Mie theory are used to produce wavelength-dependent aerosol extinction, single scattering albedo, and scattering asymmetry factor values. The structural form of EVA and the tuning of its parameters are chosen to produce best agreement with the satellite-based reconstruction of stratospheric aerosol properties following the 1991 Pinatubo eruption, and with prior millennial-timescale forcing reconstructions, including the 1815 eruption of Tambora. EVA can be used to produce volcanic forcing for climate models which is based on recent observations and physical understanding but internally self-consistent over any timescale of choice. In addition, EVA is constructed so as to allow for easy modification of different aspects of aerosol properties, in order to be used in model experiments to help advance understanding of what aspects of the volcanic aerosol are important for the climate system.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2020-01-22
    Description: The atmospheric CO2 concentration increased by about 20ppm from 6000BCE to the pre-industrial period (1850CE). Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain mechanisms of this CO2 growth based on either ocean or land carbon sources. Here, we apply the Earth system model MPI-ESM-LR for two transient simulations of climate and carbon cycle dynamics during this period. In the first simulation, atmospheric CO2 is prescribed following ice-core CO2 data. In response to the growing atmospheric CO2 concentration, land carbon storage increases until 2000BCE, stagnates afterwards, and decreases from 1CE, while the ocean continuously takes CO2 out of the atmosphere after 4000BCE. This leads to a missing source of 166Pg of carbon in the ocean-land-atmosphere system by the end of the simulation. In the second experiment, we applied a CO2 nudging technique using surface alkalinity forcing to follow the reconstructed CO2 concentration while keeping the carbon cycle interactive. In that case the ocean is a source of CO2 from 6000 to 2000BCE due to a decrease in the surface ocean alkalinity. In the prescribed CO2 simulation, surface alkalinity declines as well. However, it is not sufficient to turn the ocean into a CO2 source. The carbonate ion concentration in the deep Atlantic decreases in both the prescribed and the interactive CO2 simulations, while the magnitude of the decrease in the prescribed CO2 experiment is underestimated in comparison with available proxies. As the land serves as a carbon sink until 2000BCE due to natural carbon cycle processes in both experiments, the missing source of carbon for land and atmosphere can only be attributed to the ocean. Within our model framework, an additional mechanism, such as surface alkalinity decrease, for example due to unaccounted for carbonate accumulation processes on shelves, is required for consistency with ice-core CO2 data. Consequently, our simulations support the hypothesis that the ocean was a source of CO2 until the late Holocene when anthropogenic CO2 sources started to affect atmospheric CO2.
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