University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Centre for Atmospheric Science seminars, Chemistry Dept. > Will climate-volcano interactions be modulated by ongoing climate change? Perspective from explosive eruption column rise.

Will climate-volcano interactions be modulated by ongoing climate change? Perspective from explosive eruption column rise.

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Volcanic eruption plumes reaching the stratosphere result in the formation of long-lived (1-2 years) sulfate aerosols, which interact with Sun and Earth radiation and alter the radiative balance of our planet. In particular, stratospheric volcanic aerosol forcing results in a net cooling of Earth’s surface. As CO2 concentration increases due to anthropogenic emissions, changing weather and climate may affect multiple processes that govern the climatic impact of volcanic eruptions. Will we experience increased or decreased volcanic cooling on a warming Earth? I will discuss this question focusing mostly on processes related to the dynamics of volcanic plumes and the subsequent injection of sulfur gases into the stratosphere.

First, I will give a brief overview of models for the rise of volcanic columns, and of my work to assess and improve their skills for predicting volcanic plume heights. Second, I will use 1D and 3D plume models along with climate model projections to investigate the potential effects of climate change on plume dynamics and climatic impacts of future eruptions. I will show that reduced volcanic sulfur injections into the stratosphere are projected with ongoing climate change. A novel feedback hypothesis emerging from this work is that volcanic cooling may be reduced on a warming Earth. Last, I will discuss my ongoing work to quantify climate-volcano feedbacks related to plume dynamics in the UK Earth System Model, along with feedbacks related to the life cycle of volcanic sulfate aerosols in the atmosphere.

This talk is part of the Centre for Atmospheric Science seminars, Chemistry Dept. series.

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