Articles | Volume 17, issue 1
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 485–499, 2017

Special issue: The SPARC Reanalysis Intercomparison Project (S-RIP) (ACP/ESSD...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 485–499, 2017

Research article 11 Jan 2017

Research article | 11 Jan 2017

Revisiting the observed surface climate response to large volcanic eruptions

Fabian Wunderlich and Daniel M. Mitchell

Related subject area

Subject: Aerosols | Research Activity: Atmospheric Modelling | Altitude Range: Troposphere | Science Focus: Physics (physical properties and processes)
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Cited articles

Adams, J. B., Mann, M. E., and Ammann, C. M.: Proxy evidence for an El Nino-like response to volcanic forcing, Nature, 426, 274–278, 2003.
Allan, R. and Ansell, T.: A new globally-complete monthly historical gridded mean sea level pressure data set (HadSLP2): 1850–2004, J. Climate, 19, 5816–5842,, 2006.
Ammann, C. M., Joos, F., Schimel, D. S., Otto-Bliesner, B. L., and Tomas, R. A.: Solar influence on climate during the past millennium: results from transient simulations with the NCAR Climate System Model, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 104, 3713–3718,, 2007.
Baldwin, M., Stephenson, D., and Jolliffe, I.: Spatial weighting and iterative projection methods for EOFs, J. Climate, 22, 234–243,, 2008.
Baldwin, M. P. and Dunkerton, T. J.: Propagation of the Arctic Oscillation from the stratosphere to the troposphere, J. Geophys. Res., 104, 30937–30946,, 1999.
Short summary
Large volcanic eruptions can eject aerosols into the stratosphere and prevent UV radiation reaching the surface, resulting in surface cooling. A secondary, non-linear effect occurs at high latitudes. While the surface cooling is robust in observations, we show that the non-linear, high-latitude effect is less robust. Climate models have failures at reproducing both aspects, probably because of aliasing with other climate modes and overrepresentation of stratospheric aerosol.
Final-revised paper