Accueil > Actualités > Séminaires > Séminaire de Alan Robock au LOCEAN


Titre : Volcanic Eruptions and Climate: Outstanding Research Issues
Nom du conférencier : Professor Alan Robock
Son affiliation : Department of Environmental Sciences Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8551 USA
Laboratoire organisateur : LOCEAN
Date et heure : 16-04-2015 11h00
Lieu : LOCEAN - salle du 4ème salle de réunion T45-55, 4ème étage, porte 417
Résumé :

Large volcanic eruptions inject sulfur gases into the stratosphere, which convert to sulfate aerosols with an e-folding residence time of about one year. The radiative and chemical effects of this aerosol cloud produce responses in the climate system. Using examples from major eruptions of the past and results from experiments with numerical models of the climate system, this talk illustrates the major impacts. Volcanic eruptions produce global cooling, and are an important natural cause of interdecadal and interannual climate change. One of the most interesting volcanic effects is the “winter warming” of Northern Hemisphere continents following major tropical eruptions. During the winter in the Northern Hemisphere following every large tropical eruption of the past century, surface air temperatures over North America, Europe, and East Asia were warmer than normal, while they were colder over Greenland and the Middle East. This pattern and the coincident atmospheric circulation correspond to the positive phase of the Arctic Oscillation. High latitude eruptions in the Northern Hemisphere, while also producing global cooling, do not have the same impact on atmospheric dynamics. While high latitude eruption clouds have a shorter atmospheric residence time than tropical ones, large high latitude eruptions can weaken the Indian and African summer monsoon, and the effects can be seen in past records of flow in the Nile and Niger Rivers. Since the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in the Philippines in 1991, there have been no large eruptions that affected climate, but the cumulative effects of small eruptions over the past decade has had a small effect on global temperature trends. Some important outstanding research questions include: How much seasonal, annual, and decadal predictability is possible following a large volcanic eruption? Do volcanic eruptions change the probability of El Niño or La Niña in the years following the eruption? Are there decadal scale oceanic responses that can provide long-term predictability? What are the observational needs for future volcanic eruptions, which will provide information to improve forecasts and observe responses following volcanic eruptions?

Contact :

Myriam Khodri