Volcanic aerosol clouds from major tropical eruptions cause periods of strong surface cooling in the historical climate record and are dominant influences within decadal surface temperature trends.
Even the transition from the unusual 1998-2002 period of a “fully decayed to quiescence” stratospheric aerosol layer, into a more typical period of modest volcanic activity temporarily offset a substantial proportion of the subsequent decadal forcing from increased greenhouse gases.
Advancing our understanding of the influence of volcanoes on climate relies upon better knowledge of (i) the radiative forcings of past eruptions and the microphysical, chemical and dynamical processes which affect the evolution of stratospheric aerosol properties and (ii) the response mechanisms governing post-eruption climate variability and their dependency on the climate state at the time of the eruption. This can only be achieved by combining information from satellite and in-situ observations of recent eruptions, stratospheric aerosol and climate modelling activities, and reconstructions of past volcanic histories and post-eruption climate state from proxies.
In recent years the smoke from intense wildfires in North America and Australia has also been an important component of the stratospheric aerosol layer, the presence of organic aerosol and meteoric particles in background conditions now also firmly established.
This session seeks presentations from research aimed at better understanding the stratospheric aerosol layer, its volcanic perturbations and the associated impacts on climate through the post-industrial period (1750-present) and also those further back in the historical record.
We also welcome contributions to understand the societal impacts of volcanic eruptions and the human responses to them. Contributions addressing volcanic influences on atmospheric composition, such as changes in stratospheric water vapour, ozone and other trace gases are also encouraged.
The session aims to bring together research contributing to several current international co-ordinated activities: SPARC-SSiRC, CMIP6-VolMIP, CMIP6-PMIP, and PAGES-VICS.
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