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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.5194/ACP-21-3317-2021

Model physics and chemistry causing intermodel disagreement within the VolMIP-Tambora Interactive Stratospheric Aerosol ensemble

04 Mar 2021-Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Copernicus GmbH)-Vol. 21, Iss: 5, pp 3317-3343
Abstract: . As part of the Model Intercomparison Project on the climatic response to Volcanic forcing (VolMIP), several climate modeling centers performed a coordinated pre-study experiment with interactive stratospheric aerosol models simulating the volcanic aerosol cloud from an eruption resembling the 1815 Mt. Tambora eruption (VolMIP-Tambora ISA ensemble). The pre-study provided the ancillary ability to assess intermodel diversity in the radiative forcing for a large stratospheric-injecting equatorial eruption when the volcanic aerosol cloud is simulated interactively. An initial analysis of the VolMIP-Tambora ISA ensemble showed large disparities between models in the stratospheric global mean aerosol optical depth (AOD). In this study, we now show that stratospheric global mean AOD differences among the participating models are primarily due to differences in aerosol size, which we track here by effective radius. We identify specific physical and chemical processes that are missing in some models and/or parameterized differently between models, which are together causing the differences in effective radius. In particular, our analysis indicates that interactively tracking hydroxyl radical (OH) chemistry following a large volcanic injection of sulfur dioxide ( SO2 ) is an important factor in allowing for the timescale for sulfate formation to be properly simulated. In addition, depending on the timescale of sulfate formation, there can be a large difference in effective radius and subsequently AOD that results from whether the SO2 is injected in a single model grid cell near the location of the volcanic eruption, or whether it is injected as a longitudinally averaged band around the Earth.

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Topics: Aerosol (51%), Effective radius (51%), Vulcanian eruption (50%) ... read more

8 results found

Open access
Chaochao Gao1, Alan Robock1, Caspar M. Ammann2Institutions (2)
01 Dec 2006-
Abstract: [1] Understanding natural causes of climate change is vital to evaluate the relative impacts of human pollution and land surface modification on climate. We have investigated one of the most important natural causes of climate change, volcanic eruptions, by using 54 ice core records from both the Arctic and Antarctica. Our recently collected suite of ice core data, more than double the number of cores ever used before, reduces errors inherent in reconstructions based on a single or small number of cores, which enables us to obtain much higher accuracy in both detection of events and quantification of the radiative effects. We extracted volcanic deposition signals from each ice core record by applying a high-pass loess filter to the time series and examining peaks that exceed twice the 31-year running median absolute deviation. We then studied the spatial pattern of volcanic sulfate deposition on Greenland and Antarctica and combined this knowledge with a new understanding of stratospheric transport of volcanic aerosols to produce a forcing data set as a function of month, latitude, and altitude for the past 1500 years. We estimated the uncertainties associated with the choice of volcanic signal extraction criteria, ice core sulfate deposition to stratospheric loading calibration factor, and the season for the eruptions without a recorded month. We forced an energy balance climate model with this new volcanic forcing data set, together with solar and anthropogenic forcing, to simulate the large-scale temperature response. The results agree well with instrumental observations for the past 150 years and with proxy records for the entire period. Through better characterization of the natural causes of climate change, this new data set will lead to improved prediction of anthropogenic impacts on climate. The new data set of stratospheric sulfate injections from volcanic eruptions for the past 1500 years, as a function of latitude, altitude, and month, is available for download in a format suitable for forcing general circulation models of the climate system.

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Topics: Climate change (64%), Climate model (63%), Ice core (58%) ... read more

42 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.5194/ACP-21-10039-2021
Daniele Visioni1, Douglas G. MacMartin1, Ben Kravitz2, Ben Kravitz3  +9 moreInstitutions (8)
Abstract: . We present here results from the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP) simulations for the experiments G6sulfur and G6solar for six Earth system models participating in the Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) Phase 6. The aim of the experiments is to reduce the warming that results from a high-tier emission scenario (Shared Socioeconomic Pathways SSP5-8.5) to that resulting from a medium-tier emission scenario (SSP2-4.5). These simulations aim to analyze the response of climate models to a reduction in incoming surface radiation as a means to reduce global surface temperatures, and they do so either by simulating a stratospheric sulfate aerosol layer or, in a more idealized way, through a uniform reduction in the solar constant in the model. We find that over the final two decades of this century there are considerable inter-model spreads in the needed injection amounts of sulfate (29 ± 9 Tg-SO 2 /yr between 2081 and 2100), in the latitudinal distribution of the aerosol cloud and in the stratospheric temperature changes resulting from the added aerosol layer. Even in the simpler G6solar experiment, there is a spread in the needed solar dimming to achieve the same global temperature target (1.91 ± 0.44 %). The analyzed models already show significant differences in the response to the increasing CO 2 concentrations for global mean temperatures and global mean precipitation (2.05 K ± 0.42 K and 2.28 ± 0.80 %, respectively, for SSP5-8.5 minus SSP2-4.5 averaged over 2081–2100). With aerosol injection, the differences in how the aerosols spread further change some of the underlying uncertainties, such as the global mean precipitation response ( − 3.79 ± 0.76 % for G6sulfur compared to − 2.07 ± 0.40 % for G6solar against SSP2-4.5 between 2081 and 2100). These differences in the behavior of the aerosols also result in a larger uncertainty in the regional surface temperature response among models in the case of the G6sulfur simulations, suggesting the need to devise various, more specific experiments to single out and resolve particular sources of uncertainty. The spread in the modeled response suggests that a degree of caution is necessary when using these results for assessing specific impacts of geoengineering in various aspects of the Earth system. However, all models agree that compared to a scenario with unmitigated warming, stratospheric aerosol geoengineering has the potential to both globally and locally reduce the increase in surface temperatures.

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Topics: Global dimming (55%), Sulfate aerosol (53%), Climate model (53%) ... read more

5 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.5194/CP-17-1455-2021
Abstract: . The “1809 eruption” is one of the most recent unidentified volcanic eruptions with a global climate impact. Even though the eruption ranks as the third largest since 1500 with a sulfur emission strength estimated to be 2 times that of the 1991 eruption of Pinatubo, not much is known of it from historic sources. Based on a compilation of instrumental and reconstructed temperature time series, we show here that tropical temperatures show a significant drop in response to the ∼ 1809 eruption that is similar to that produced by the Mt. Tambora eruption in 1815, while the response of Northern Hemisphere (NH) boreal summer temperature is spatially heterogeneous. We test the sensitivity of the climate response simulated by the MPI Earth system model to a range of volcanic forcing estimates constructed using estimated volcanic stratospheric sulfur injections (VSSIs) and uncertainties from ice-core records. Three of the forcing reconstructions represent a tropical eruption with an approximately symmetric hemispheric aerosol spread but different forcing magnitudes, while a fourth reflects a hemispherically asymmetric scenario without volcanic forcing in the NH extratropics. Observed and reconstructed post-volcanic surface NH summer temperature anomalies lie within the range of all the scenario simulations. Therefore, assuming the model climate sensitivity is correct, the VSSI estimate is accurate within the uncertainty bounds. Comparison of observed and simulated tropical temperature anomalies suggests that the most likely VSSI for the 1809 eruption would be somewhere between 12 and 19 Tg of sulfur. Model results show that NH large-scale climate modes are sensitive to both volcanic forcing strength and its spatial structure. While spatial correlations between the N-TREND NH temperature reconstruction and the model simulations are weak in terms of the ensemble-mean model results, individual model simulations show good correlation over North America and Europe, suggesting the spatial heterogeneity of the 1810 cooling could be due to internal climate variability.

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Topics: Volcano (53%), Climate sensitivity (53%), Forcing (mathematics) (52%) ... read more

5 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.5194/ACP-21-9009-2021
Abstract: . The evolution of volcanic sulfur and the resulting radiative forcing following explosive volcanic eruptions is well understood. Petrological evidence suggests that significant amounts of halogens may be co-emitted alongside sulfur in some explosive volcanic eruptions, and satellite evidence indicates that detectable amounts of these halogens may reach the stratosphere. In this study, we utilise an aerosol–chemistry–climate model to simulate stratospheric volcanic eruption emission scenarios of two sizes, both with and without co-emission of volcanic halogens, in order to understand how co-emitted halogens may alter the life cycle of volcanic sulfur, stratospheric chemistry, and the resulting radiative forcing. We simulate a large (10 Tg of SO2 ) and very large (56 Tg of SO2 ) sulfur-only eruption scenario and a corresponding large (10 Tg SO2 , 1.5 Tg HCl, 0.0086 Tg HBr) and very large (56 Tg SO2 , 15 Tg HCl, 0.086 Tg HBr) co-emission eruption scenario. The eruption scenarios simulated in this work are hypothetical, but they are comparable to Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) 6 (e.g. 1991 Mt Pinatubo) and VEI 7 (e.g. 1257 Mt Samalas) eruptions, representing 1-in-50–100-year and 1-in-500–1000-year events, respectively, with plausible amounts of co-emitted halogens based on satellite observations and volcanic plume modelling. We show that co-emission of volcanic halogens and sulfur into the stratosphere increases the volcanic effective radiative forcing ( ERF ) by 24 % and 30 % in large and very large co-emission scenarios compared to sulfur-only emission. This is caused by an increase in both the forcing from volcanic aerosol–radiation interactions ( ERFari ) and composition of the stratosphere ( ERFclear,clean ). Volcanic halogens catalyse the destruction of stratospheric ozone, which results in significant stratospheric cooling, offsetting the aerosol heating simulated in sulfur-only scenarios and resulting in net stratospheric cooling. The ozone-induced stratospheric cooling prevents aerosol self-lofting and keeps the volcanic aerosol lower in the stratosphere with a shorter lifetime. This results in reduced growth by condensation and coagulation and a smaller peak global-mean effective radius compared to sulfur-only simulations. The smaller effective radius found in both co-emission scenarios is closer to the peak scattering efficiency radius of sulfate aerosol, and thus co-emission of halogens results in larger peak global-mean ERFari (6 % and 8 %). Co-emission of volcanic halogens results in significant stratospheric ozone, methane, and water vapour reductions, resulting in significant increases in peak global-mean ERFclear,clean ( > 100 %), predominantly due to ozone loss. The dramatic global-mean ozone depletion simulated in large (22 %) and very large (57 %) co-emission scenarios would result in very high levels of UV exposure on the Earth's surface, with important implications for society and the biosphere. This work shows for the first time that co-emission of plausible amounts of volcanic halogens can amplify the volcanic ERF in simulations of explosive eruptions. It highlights the need to include volcanic halogen emissions when simulating the climate impacts of past or future eruptions, as well as the necessity to maintain space-borne observations of stratospheric compounds to better constrain the stratospheric injection estimates of volcanic eruptions.

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Topics: Volcanic explosivity index (60%), Explosive eruption (59%), Volcano (57%) ... read more

5 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.5194/ACP-21-14871-2021
Abstract: . Stratospheric aerosols are an important component of the climate system. They not only change the radiative budget of the Earth but also play an essential role in ozone depletion. These impacts are particularly noticeable after volcanic eruptions when SO2 injected with the eruption reaches the stratosphere, oxidizes, and forms stratospheric aerosol. There have been several studies in which a volcanic eruption plume and the associated radiative forcing were analyzed using climate models and/or data from satellite measurements. However, few have compared vertically and temporally resolved volcanic plumes using both measured and modeled data. In this paper, we compared changes in the stratospheric aerosol loading after the 2018 Ambae eruption observed by satellite remote sensing measurements and simulated by a global aerosol model. We use vertical profiles of the aerosol extinction coefficient at 869 nm retrieved at the Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP) in Bremen from OMPS-LP (Ozone Mapping and Profiling Suite – Limb Profiler) observations. Here, we present the retrieval algorithm and a comparison of the obtained profiles with those from SAGE III/ISS (Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment III on board the International Space Station). The observed differences are within 25 % for most latitude bins, which indicates a reasonable quality of the retrieved limb aerosol extinction product. The volcanic plume evolution is investigated using both monthly mean aerosol extinction coefficients and 10 d averaged data. The measurement results were compared with the model output from MAECHAM5-HAM (ECHAM for short). In order to simulate the eruption accurately, we use SO2 injection estimates from OMPS and OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) for the first phase of eruption and the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) for the second phase. Generally, the agreement between the vertical and geographical distribution of the aerosol extinction coefficient from OMPS-LP and ECHAM is quite remarkable, in particular, for the second phase. We attribute the good consistency between the model and the measurements to the precise estimation of injected SO2 mass and height, as well as to the nudging to ECMWF ERA5 reanalysis data. Additionally, we compared the radiative forcing (RF) caused by the increase in the aerosol loading in the stratosphere after the eruption. After accounting for the uncertainties from different RF calculation methods, the RFs from ECHAM and OMPS-LP agree quite well. We estimate the tropical (20 ∘ N to 20 ∘ S) RF from the second Ambae eruption to be about − 0.13 W m−2 .

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Topics: Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (61%), Ozone Monitoring Instrument (55%), ECHAM (55%) ... read more

3 Citations


70 results found

Open access
01 Jan 2006-
Abstract: 1 The Atmosphere. 2 Atmospheric Trace Constituents. 3 Chemical Kinetics. 4 Atmospheric Radiation and Photochemistry. 5 Chemistry of the Stratosphere. 6 Chemistry of the Troposphere. 7 Chemistry of the Atmospheric Aqueous Phase. 8 Properties of the Atmospheric Aerosol. 9 Dynamics of Single Aerosol Particles. 10 Thermodynamics of Aerosols. 11 Nucleation. 12 Mass Transfer Aspects of Atmospheric Chemistry. 13 Dynamics of Aerosol Populations. 14 Organic Atmospheric Aerosols. 15 Interaction of Aerosols with Radiation. 16 Meteorology of the Local Scale. 17 Cloud Physics. 18 Atmospheric Diffusion. 19 Dry Deposition. 20 Wet Deposition. 21 General Circulation of the Atmosphere. 22 Global Cycles: Sulfur and Carbon. 23 Climate and Chemical Composition of the Atmosphere. 24 Aerosols and Climate. 25 Atmospheric Chemical Transport Models. 26 Statistical Models.

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Topics: Atmospheric chemistry (66%), Aerosol (56%), Atmospheric dispersion modeling (54%) ... read more

11,157 Citations

Open accessBook
01 Jan 1997-
Abstract: 1 The Atmosphere. 2 Atmospheric Trace Constituents. 3 Chemical Kinetics. 4 Atmospheric Radiation and Photochemistry. 5 Chemistry of the Stratosphere. 6 Chemistry of the Troposphere. 7 Chemistry of the Atmospheric Aqueous Phase. 8 Properties of the Atmospheric Aerosol. 9 Dynamics of Single Aerosol Particles. 10 Thermodynamics of Aerosols. 11 Nucleation. 12 Mass Transfer Aspects of Atmospheric Chemistry. 13 Dynamics of Aerosol Populations. 14 Organic Atmospheric Aerosols. 15 Interaction of Aerosols with Radiation. 16 Meteorology of the Local Scale. 17 Cloud Physics. 18 Atmospheric Diffusion. 19 Dry Deposition. 20 Wet Deposition. 21 General Circulation of the Atmosphere. 22 Global Cycles: Sulfur and Carbon. 23 Climate and Chemical Composition of the Atmosphere. 24 Aerosols and Climate. 25 Atmospheric Chemical Transport Models. 26 Statistical Models.

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Topics: Atmospheric chemistry (66%), Aerosol (56%), Atmosphere of Earth (55%) ... read more

8,416 Citations

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1029/1998RG000054
Abstract: Volcanic eruptions are an important natural cause of climate change on many timescales. A new capability to predict the climatic response to a large tropical eruption for the succeeding 2 years will prove valuable to society. In addition, to detect and attribute anthropogenic influences on climate, including effects of greenhouse gases, aerosols, and ozone-depleting chemicals, it is crucial to quantify the natural fluctuations so as to separate them from anthropogenic fluctuations in the climate record. Studying the responses of climate to volcanic eruptions also helps us to better understand important radiative and dynamical processes that respond in the climate system to both natural and anthropogenic forcings. Furthermore, modeling the effects of volcanic eruptions helps us to improve climate models that are needed to study anthropogenic effects. Large volcanic eruptions inject sulfur gases into the stratosphere, which convert to sulfate aerosols with an e-folding residence time of about 1 year. Large ash particles fall out much quicker. The radiative and chemical effects of this aerosol cloud produce responses in the climate system. By scattering some solar radiation back to space, the aerosols cool the surface, but by absorbing both solar and terrestrial radiation, the aerosol layer heats the stratosphere. For a tropical eruption this heating is larger in the tropics than in the high latitudes, producing an enhanced pole-to-equator temperature gradient, especially in winter. In the Northern Hemisphere winter this enhanced gradient produces a stronger polar vortex, and this stronger jet stream produces a characteristic stationary wave pattern of tropospheric circulation, resulting in winter warming of Northern Hemisphere continents. This indirect advective effect on temperature is stronger than the radiative cooling effect that dominates at lower latitudes and in the summer. The volcanic aerosols also serve as surfaces for heterogeneous chemical reactions that destroy stratospheric ozone, which lowers ultraviolet absorption and reduces the radiative heating in the lower stratosphere, but the net effect is still heating. Because this chemical effect depends on the presence of anthropogenic chlorine, it has only become important in recent decades. For a few days after an eruption the amplitude of the diurnal cycle of surface air temperature is reduced under the cloud. On a much longer timescale, volcanic effects played a large role in interdecadal climate change of the Little Ice Age. There is no perfect index of past volcanism, but more ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica will improve the record. There is no evidence that volcanic eruptions produce El Nino events, but the climatic effects of El Nino and volcanic eruptions must be separated to understand the climatic response to each.

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Topics: Volcanic winter (64%), Attribution of recent climate change (62%), Climate change (61%) ... read more

1,893 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1029/1999RG000073
Abstract: The quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) dominates the variability of the equatorial stratosphere (∼16–50 km) and is easily seen as downward propagating easterly and westerly wind regimes, with a variable period averaging approximately 28 months. From a fluid dynamical perspective, the QBO is a fascinating example of a coherent, oscillating mean flow that is driven by propagating waves with periods unrelated to that of the resulting oscillation. Although the QBO is a tropical phenomenon, it affects the stratospheric flow from pole to pole by modulating the effects of extratropical waves. Indeed, study of the QBO is inseparable from the study of atmospheric wave motions that drive it and are modulated by it. The QBO affects variability in the mesosphere near 85 km by selectively filtering waves that propagate upward through the equatorial stratosphere, and may also affect the strength of Atlantic hurricanes. The effects of the QBO are not confined to atmospheric dynamics. Chemical constituents, such as ozone, water vapor, and methane, are affected by circulation changes induced by the QBO. There are also substantial QBO signals in many of the shorter-lived chemical constituents. Through modulation of extratropical wave propagation, the QBO has an effect on the breakdown of the wintertime stratospheric polar vortices and the severity of high-latitude ozone depletion. The polar vortex in the stratosphere affects surface weather patterns, providing a mechanism for the QBO to have an effect at the Earth's surface. As more data sources (e.g., wind and temperature measurements from both ground-based systems and satellites) become available, the effects of the QBO can be more precisely assessed. This review covers the current state of knowledge of the tropical QBO, its extratropical dynamical effects, chemical constituent transport, and effects of the QBO in the troposphere (∼0–16 km) and mesosphere (∼50–100 km). It is intended to provide a broad overview of the QBO and its effects to researchers outside the field, as well as a source of information and references for specialists. The history of research on the QBO is discussed only briefly, and the reader is referred to several historical review papers. The basic theory of the QBO is summarized, and tutorial references are provided.

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Topics: Quasi-biennial oscillation (60%), Polar vortex (53%), Stratosphere (53%) ... read more

1,549 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.5194/ACP-5-1125-2005
Philip Stier1, Johann Feichter1, Stefan Kinne1, Silvia Kloster1  +10 moreInstitutions (2)
Abstract: The aerosol-climate modelling system ECHAM5-HAM is introduced. It is based on a flexible microphysical approach and, as the number of externally imposed parameters is minimised, allows the application in a wide range of climate regimes. ECHAM5-HAM predicts the evolution of an ensemble of microphysically interacting internally- and externally-mixed aerosol populations as well as their size-distribution and composition. The size-distribution is represented by a superposition of log-normal modes. In the current setup, the major global aerosol compounds sulfate (SU), black carbon (BC), particulate organic matter (POM), sea salt (SS), and mineral dust (DU) are included. The simulated global annual mean aerosol burdens (lifetimes) for the year 2000 are for SO4: 0.80 Tg(S) (3.9 days), for BC: 0.11 Tg (5.4 days), for POM: 0.99 Tg (5.4 days), for SS: 10.5 Tg (0.8 days), and for DU: 8.28 Tg (4.6 days). An extensive evaluation with in-situ and remote sensing measurements underscores that the model results are generally in good agreement with observations of the global aerosol system. The simulated global annual mean aerosol optical depth (AOD) is with 0.14 in excellent agreement with an estimate derived from AERONET measurements (0.14) and a composite derived from MODIS-MISR satellite retrievals (0.16). Regionally, the deviations are not negligible. However, the main patterns of AOD attributable to anthropogenic activity are reproduced.

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Topics: AERONET (55%), Aerosol (55%)

871 Citations