University of Cambridge > > Department of Geography - main Departmental seminar series > Environmental and climatic effects of volcanic aerosol: past, present and future

Environmental and climatic effects of volcanic aerosol: past, present and future

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Volcanic eruptions have a significant potential to affect the climate system, the environment and society. I will summarise my work on volcanic sulfur emissions from volcanic eruptions of different styles, magnitudes, and durations. I will first discuss air quality and climate impacts of Icelandic volcanism including the most recent Icelandic eruption at Holuhraun (Bárðarbunga volcano), which in September 2014 emitted up to nine times as much sulphur dioxide per day as all European industry combined. Holuhraun was the first so-called flood lava eruption in Iceland since the much bigger 1783-1784 CE Laki eruption. Laki had substantial effects on northern hemisphere climate and the environment across Europe. Using a global aerosol microphysics model to simulate the effects of a future Laki-type eruption, I show that such an eruption could have the potential to degrade air quality and affect human health in Europe. Lastly, I will present results from CESM model simulations of volcanic eruptions and their radiative effects since 1990.

This talk is part of the Department of Geography - main Departmental seminar series series.

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