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Exploring How Eruption Source Parameters Affect Volcanic Radiative Forcing

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Maria Vittoria Guarino.

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The climatic effects of volcanic eruptions depend on how much sulfur dioxide is emitted, the latitude of the eruption and the height of injection. The effect of each one of these parameters on climate is reasonably well known, but no study has quantified the effect of all possible combinations of these parameters. We use statistical emulation to build ‘response surfaces’ that describe the effects of all possible eruptions within defined ranges, based on only 30 climate model simulations. The results allow, for the first time, to visualize the combined effects of the parameters, gaining new insight into how stratospheric aerosol behaves and how it affects climate. Most importantly, we show that many plausible combinations of the eruption source parameters can produce the same volcanic response. We explore the possible eruptions that could lead to polar ice sheet deposition that is consistent with ice-core-derived values for eruptions in the last 2500 years. We find a wide range in eruption-realizations, which have an associated range in radiative forcing, with subsequent implications for historical volcanic forcing reconstructions.

This talk is part of the British Antarctic Survey series.

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