30 Mar 2021

30 Mar 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Climate impact of volcanic eruptions: the sensitivity to eruption season and latitude in MPI-ESM ensemble experiments

Zhihong Zhuo1,a, Ingo Kirchner1, Stephan Pfahl1, and Ulrich Cubasch1 Zhihong Zhuo et al.
  • 1Institute of Meteorology, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, 12165, Germany
  • anow at: Section for Meteorology and Oceanography, Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, 0315, Norway

Abstract. Explosive volcanic eruptions influence near-surface temperature and precipitation especially in the monsoon regions, but the impact varies with different eruption seasons and latitudes. To study this variability, two groups of ensemble simulations are performed with volcanic eruptions in June and December at 0° representing an equatorial eruption (EQ) and at 30° N and 30° S representing northern and southern hemisphere eruptions (NH and SH). Results show significant cooling especially in areas with enhanced volcanic aerosol content. Stronger cooling emerges in the northern (southern) hemisphere after the NH (SH) eruption compared to the EQ eruption. Stronger precipitation variations occur in the tropics than in the high latitudes. Summer and winter eruptions lead to similar climate impacts. The NH and the SH eruptions have reversed climate impacts, especially in the South Asian monsoon regions. After the NH (SH) eruption, direct radiative effects of volcanic aerosols induce changes in the interhemispheric and land-sea thermal contrasts, which move the intertropical convergence zone southward (northward) and weaken (strengthen) the South Asian summer monsoon. This reduces (increases) the moisture transport from the ocean to India, and reduces (enhances) cloud formation. The subsequent radiative feedbacks due to regional cloud cover lead to warming (cooling) in India. This emphasis the sensitivity of regional climate impacts of volcanic eruptions to eruption latitude, which relates to the dynamical response of the climate system to radiative effects of volcanic aerosols and the subsequent regional physical feedbacks.

Zhihong Zhuo et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-260', Daniele Visioni, 26 Apr 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2021-260', Anonymous Referee #2, 17 May 2021

Zhihong Zhuo et al.

Data sets

Different latitudinal volcanic eruption simulations in different seasons met.fu-berlin MPI-ESM-LR echam monthly Zhuo, Zhihong; Kirchner, Ingo; Cubasch, Ulrich

Zhihong Zhuo et al.


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Short summary
The impact of volcanic eruptions varies with eruption season and latitude. This study simulated eruptions at different latitude and in different seasons with a fully coupled climate model. The climate impacts of northern and southern hemispheric eruptions are reversed, but are insensitive to eruption season. Results suggest that the regional climate impacts are due to the dynamical response of the climate system to radiative effects of volcanic aerosols and the subsequent regional feedbacks.