Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

A simple relationship between volcanic sulfate\ud aerosol optical depth and surface temperature change\ud simulated in an atmosphere-ocean general circulation model.

By Bethan Mary Harris and Ellie Highwood

Abstract

In this study we quantify the relationship between the aerosol optical depth increase from a volcanic eruption and the severity of the subsequent surface temperature decrease. This investigation is made by simulating 10 different sizes of eruption in a global circulation model (GCM) by changing stratospheric sulfate aerosol optical depth at each time step. The sizes of the simulated eruptions range from Pinatubo‐sized up to the magnitude of supervolcanic eruptions around 100 times the size of Pinatubo. From these simulations we find that there is a smooth monotonic relationship between the global mean maximum aerosol optical depth anomaly and the global mean temperature anomaly and we derive a simple mathematical expression which fits this relationship well. We also construct similar relationships between global mean aerosol optical depth and the temperature anomaly at every individual model grid box to produce global maps of best‐fit coefficients and fit residuals. These maps are used with caution to find the eruption size at which a local temperature anomaly is clearly distinct from the local natural variability and to approximate the temperature anomalies which the model may simulate following a Tambora‐sized eruption. To our knowledge, this is the first study which quantifies the relationship between aerosol optical depth and resulting temperature anomalies in a simple way, using the wealth of data that is available from GCM simulations

Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:centaur.reading.ac.uk:19464

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. (2002). A continuous multimillennial ring-width chronology in Yamal,
  2. (2001). A coupled model study of the last glacial maximum: was part of the North Atlantic relatively warm?,
  3. (2000). A microphysical model for simulation of stratospheric aerosol in a climate model,
  4. (2004). A new method for diagnosing radiative forcing and climate sensitivity,
  5. (2001). Accounting for the effects of volcanoes and ENSO in comparisons of modeled and observed temperature trends,
  6. (2005). An AOGCM simulation of the climate response to a volcanic super-eruption,
  7. (2003). Anthropogenic climate change for 1860 to 2100 simulated with the HadCM3 model under updated emissions scenarios,
  8. (2002). Arctic Oscillation response to the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption: Effects of volcanic aerosols and ozone depletion,
  9. (2006). Arctic Oscillation response to volcanic eruptions in the IPCC AR4 climate models,
  10. (2003). Atmospheric and environmental effects of the 1783– 1784 Laki eruption: a review and reassessment,
  11. (2007). Cilmate Models and Their Evaluation, in Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,
  12. (2010). Climate change 2001: the scientific basis,
  13. (1992). Climate change and middle atmosphere. Part II: The impact of volcanic aerosols.,
  14. (1999). Climate model simulation of winter warming and summer cooling following the 1991 Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption,
  15. (2009). Climate response to large, high-latitude and low-latitude volcanic eruptions in the Community Climate System Model,
  16. (1993). Climate-Volcanism feedback and the Toba eruption of 74,000 years ago,
  17. (2003). Cyclic rapid warming on centennial-scale revealed by a 2650-year stalagmite record of warm season temperature,
  18. (1995). Dendroclimatic reconstruction of summer temperatures in northwestern Canada since AD 1638 based on age-dependent modeling,
  19. (2009). Did the Toba volcanic eruption of 74 ka B.P. produce widespread glaciation?,
  20. (2010). Dynamic winter climate response to large tropical volcanic eruptions since 1600,
  21. (2010). El Nin˜o and the southern oscillation: multiscale variability and global and regional impacts,
  22. (2007). European climate response to tropical volcanic eruptions over the last half millenium,
  23. (2010). European seasonal and annual temperature variability, trends, and extremes since 1500,
  24. (2000). External control of 20th century temperature by natural and anthropogenic forcing,
  25. (2007). Grape harvest dates as a proxy for Swiss April to August temperature reconstructions back to AD 1480,
  26. (1994). Influence of volcanic eruptions on the troposphere through stratospheric dynamical processes in the northern hemisphere winter,
  27. (2006). Krakatoa lives: the effect of volcanic eruptions on ocean heat content and thermal expansion,
  28. (2003). Large-scale temperature changes across the southern Andes: 20th-century variations in the context of the past 400 years,
  29. (1998). Late Pleistocene human bottlenecks, volcanic winter, and differentiation of modern humans.,
  30. (2004). Le Roy Ladurie
  31. (2010). Limited temperature response to the very large AD 1258 volcanic eruption,
  32. (2001). Little Ice Age recorded in summer temperature reconstruction from vared sediments of Donard Lake, Baffin Island, Canada,
  33. (2000). Long-term temperature trends and tree growth in the Taymir region of northern Siberia,
  34. (1998). Measuring the strength of ENSO events - how does 1997/98 rank?,
  35. (1993). Monitoring ENSO in COADS with a seasonally adjusted principal component index,
  36. (1992). Mount Pinatubo eruptions,
  37. (1995). Oxidation of volcanic SO2: A sink for stratospheric OH and H2O,
  38. (2010). Pinatubo eruption winter climate effects: model versus observations,
  39. (1992). Potential climate impact of Mount Pinatubo eruption,
  40. (1993). Radiative climate forcing by the Mount Pinatubo eruption,
  41. (1998). Radiative forcing from the
  42. (2000). Radiative impact of the Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption: Lower stratospheric response,
  43. (2005). Reconstructed Temperature And Precipitation On A Millennial Timescale From Tree-Rings In The Southern Colorado Plateau,
  44. (1983). Report of the experts meeting on aerosols and their climatic effects, World Meteorological Organization,
  45. (1989). Self-limiting physical and chemical effects in volcanic eruption clouds,
  46. (1999). Simulation of Mt Pinatubo volcanic aerosol with the Hamburg climate model ECHAM4, Theoretical and Applied Climatology,
  47. Slingo (2005), The role of the basic state in the ENSO-monsoon relationship and implications for predictability,
  48. (1993). Stratospheric aerosol optical depths, 1850-1990,
  49. (1996). Temperature changes along the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest coast modeled from coastal tree rings,
  50. (1984). The great Tambora eruption in 1815 and its aftermath,
  51. (2000). The impact of new physical parametrizations in the Hadley Centre climate model: HadAM3, Climate Dynamics,
  52. (2009). The impact of volcanic forcing on tropical temperatures during the past four centuries,
  53. (2001). The internal climate variability of HadCM3, a version of the Hadley Centre coupled model without flux adjustments,
  54. (1998). The radiative impact of a simple aerosol climatology on the Hadley Centre atmospheric GCM,
  55. (2000). The simulation of SST, sea ice extents and ocean heat transports in a version of the Hadley Centre coupled model without flux adjustments,
  56. (2000). The Southern Oscillation Revisited: Sea Level Pressures, Surface Temperatures, and Precipitation,
  57. (1989). The southern oscillation. Part IX: The influence of volcanic eruptions on the southern oscillation in the stratosphere.,
  58. Thorpe (2005), Uncertainty in prediction of the climate response to rising levels of greenhouse gases,
  59. (2008). Tornetra¨sk tree-ring width and density AD 500–2004: a test of climatic sensitivity and a new 1500-year reconstruction of north Fennoscandian summers,
  60. (1995). Trepte
  61. (2007). Understanding and Attributing Climate Change., in Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,
  62. (2000). Volcanic eruption and climate,
  63. (2010). Volcanic eruptions, large-scale modes in the northern hemisphere, and the El Nino southern oscillation,
  64. (1976). Volcanic explosions and climate change: a theoretical assessment.,
  65. (1992). Volcanic winter and accelerated glaciation following the Toba super-eruption,
  66. (1992). Winter warming from large volcanic eruption,
  67. Woodage (2002), Estimation of natural and anthropogenic contributions to 20th century temperature change,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.