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EES Seminar Series, "Comparing the impact of tropical and high latitude volcanic eruptions on global temperatures and precipitation"

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  • Fri, 02/16/2018 - 10:00am




The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Windsor is pleased to announce:

"Comparing the impact of tropical and high latitude volcanic eruptions on global temperatures and precipitation"

presented by Paul Sotiriou, PhD Candidate
on 

Friday, February 16, 2018
at
10:00 am
105 Memorial Hall

Abstract
Large volcanic eruptions can inject large quantities of aerosols into the stratosphere. Eruptions with a volcanic explosivity index (VEI) value of >4 are thought to play a key role in the stratospheric sulphate aerosol budget. Furthermore, explosive volcanism is known to be a leading natural cause of climate change. Equatorial volcanic eruptions have been widely studied for their significant contribution to stratospheric aerosol loading and global climate impacts.

A number of large volcanic eruptions (Pinatubo, 1991; Krakatoa, 1883; Mount Tambora, 1815, Laki, 1783-84) have had a profound impact on global climate over the last 250 years and evidence suggests that equally profound eruptions have occurred further back in history (e.g., Samalas, 1257-58). All but one of these high climatic impact eruptions (Laki, Iceland) occurred near the equator and, not surprisingly, low-latitude, tropical volcanic eruptions have been more widely studied for their momentous contribution to global climate.

There is a longstanding perception that tropical volcanic eruptions have had a greater impact on global precipitation and both land and sea surface temperatures, perhaps fuelled by the occurrence of a number climatically significant eruptions in this region in the last 250 years. More recent evidence suggests that high-latitude eruptions can also have a significant impact on global climate. As such, there is some uncertainty about whether tropical or high-latitude volcanic eruptions have had a more profound impact on global climate.

Studies by D'Arrigo et al. (2008) and Schneider et al. (2009) used a fully coupled NCAR Community Climate System Model (CCSM3) and a composite tropical (30°N-30°S) sea surface temperature reconstruction, respectively. They found that tropical volcanic eruptions have a more profound impact on global land and sea surface temperatures. In contrast, studies by Liu et al. (2016) and Wu et al. (2017) indicate that high-latitude volcanic eruptions have a significant impact on global monsoon precipitation. These conclusions were based on using a 1500 year volcanic sensitivity simulation by the Community Earth System Model v.1.0 (CESM1) and observations and simulations, respectively.

Tropical volcanic eruptions have had a more profound impact on global land and sea surface temperatures than high-latitude volcanic eruptions. High-latitude volcanic eruptions in the both the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere, in contrast, have a more significant impact on global monsoon precipitation than tropical eruptions. Both tropical and high-latitude volcanic eruptions have a profound impact on global climate, the former greatly impacting global land and sea surface temperatures and the latter impacting global monsoon precipitation.

References
Adams, J.B., Mann, M.E. and Ammann, C.M., 2003. Proxy evidence for an El Niño-like response to volcanic forcing. Nature 426, 274-278.

D'Arrigo, R., Wilson, R. and Tudhope, A., 2008. The impact of volcanic forcing on tropical temperatures during the past four centuries. Nature Geoscience 2(1), 51-56.

Khodri, M., Izumo, T., Vialard, J., Janicot, S., Cassou, C., Lengaigne, M., Mignot, J., Gastineau, G., Guilyardi, E., Lebas, N., Robock, A. and McPhaden, M.J., 2017. Tropical explosive volcanic eruptions can trigger El Niño by cooling tropical Africa. Nature Communications 8(1), doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00755-6.

Lavigne, F., Degeau, J.-P., Komorowski, J.-C., Guillet, S., Robert, V., Lahitte, P., Oppenheimer, C., Stoffel, M., Vidal, C.M., Surono, Pratomo, I., Wassmer, P., Hajdas, I., Hadmoko, D.S. and de Belizal, E., 2013. Source of the great A.D. mystery eruption unveiled, Samalas volcano, Rinjani Volcanic Complex, Indonesia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110(42), 16742-16747.

LeGrande, A.N., Tsigaridis, K. and Bauer, S.E., 2016. Role of atmospheric chemistry in the climate impacts of stratospheric volcanic injection. Nature Geoscience 9(9), doi: 10.1038/NGEO2771.

Liu, F., Chai, J., Wang, B., Liu, J., Zhang, X. and Wang, Z., 2016. Global monsoon precipitation responses to large volcanic eruptions. Nature Scientific Reports 6, 24331, DOI: 10.1038/srep24331.

Schneider, D.P., Ammann, C.M., Otto-Bliesner, B.L. and Kaufman, D.S., 2009. Climate response to large, high-latitude and low-latitude volcanic eruptions in the Community Climate System Model. Journal of Geophysical Research 114, D15101, doi: 10.1029/2008JD011222.

Wu, X., Griessbach, S. and Hoffmann, L., 2017. Equatorward dispersion of a high-latitude volcanic plume and its relation to the Asian summer monsoon: a case study of the Sarychev eruption in 2009. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 17, 13439-13455.



Marg Mayer
mmayer@uwindsor.ca
(519)253-3000 ext.2528