Articles | Volume 23, issue 17
Research article
01 Sep 2023
Research article |  | 01 Sep 2023

Stratospheric aerosol size reduction after volcanic eruptions

Felix Wrana, Ulrike Niemeier, Larry W. Thomason, Sandra Wallis, and Christian von Savigny

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Subject: Aerosols | Research Activity: Remote Sensing | Altitude Range: Stratosphere | Science Focus: Physics (physical properties and processes)
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Cited articles

Ansmann, A., Baars, H., Chudnovsky, A., Mattis, I., Veselovskii, I., Haarig, M., Seifert, P., Engelmann, R., and Wandinger, U.: Extreme levels of Canadian wildfire smoke in the stratosphere over central Europe on 21–22 August 2017, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 11831–11845,, 2018. a
Aquila, V., Oman, L. D., Stolarski, R. S., Colarco, P. R., and Newman, P. A.: Dispersion of the volcanic sulfate cloud from a Mount Pinatubo-like eruption, J. Geophys. Res., 117, D06216,, 2012. a
Bingen, C., Fussen, D., and Vanhellemont, F.: A global climatology of stratospheric aerosol size distribution parameters derived from SAGE II data over the period 1984–2000: 2. Reference data, J. Geophys. Res., 109, D06202,, 2004. a
Bruckert, J., Hirsch, L., Horváth, Á., Kahn, R. A., Kölling, T., Muser, L. O., Timmreck, C., Vogel, H., Wallis, S., and Hoshyaripour, G. A.: Dispersion and aging of volcanic aerosols after the La Soufrière eruption in April 2021, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 128, e2022JD037694,, 2023. a, b
Cisewski, M., Zawodny, J., Gasbarre, J., Eckman, R., Topiwala, N., Rodriguez-Alvarez, O., Cheek, D., and Hall, S.: The Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE III) on the International Space Station (ISS) Mission, Proc. of SPIE, 9241, 924107–924107-7, 2014. a
Short summary
The stratospheric aerosol layer is a naturally occurring and permanent layer of aerosol, in this case very small droplets of mostly sulfuric acid and water, that has a cooling effect on our climate. To quantify this effect and for our general understanding of stratospheric microphysical processes, knowledge of the size of those aerosol particles is needed. Using satellite measurements and atmospheric models we show that some volcanic eruptions can lead to on average smaller aerosol sizes.
Final-revised paper