Articles | Volume 17, issue 1
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 485–499, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-485-2017

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

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 485–499, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-485-2017

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

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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, https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI3937.1, 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, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0605064103, 2007.
Baldwin, M., Stephenson, D., and Jolliffe, I.: Spatial weighting and iterative projection methods for EOFs, J. Climate, 22, 234–243, https://doi.org/10.1175/2008JCLI2147.1, 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, https://doi.org/10.1029/1999JD900445, 1999.
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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.
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