Major influence of tropical volcanic eruptions on the stratospheric aerosol layer during the last decade

Abstract : The variability of stratospheric aerosol loading between 1985 and 2010 is explored with measurements from SAGE II, CALIPSO, GOMOS/ENVISAT, and OSIRIS/Odin space-based instruments. We find that, following the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, stratospheric aerosol levels increased by as much as two orders of magnitude and only reached "background levels" between 1998 and 2002. From 2002 onwards, a systematic increase has been reported by a number of investigators. Recently, the trend, based on ground-based lidar measurements, has been tentatively attributed to an increase of SO2 entering the stratosphere associated with coal burning in Southeast Asia. However, we demonstrate with these satellite measurements that the observed trend is mainly driven by a series of moderate but increasingly intense volcanic eruptions primarily at tropical latitudes. These events injected sulfur directly to altitudes between 18 and 20 km. The resulting aerosol particles are slowly lofted into the middle stratosphere by the Brewer-Dobson circulation and are eventually transported to higher latitudes.
Complete list of metadatas

Cited literature [33 references]  Display  Hide  Download

https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00608216
Contributor : Catherine Cardon <>
Submitted on : Thursday, March 17, 2016 - 12:51:29 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 4:26:02 PM
Long-term archiving on : Saturday, June 18, 2016 - 5:53:10 PM

File

Vernier_et_al-2011-Geophysical...
Publisher files allowed on an open archive

Identifiers

Citation

Jean-Paul Vernier, L. W. Thomason, Jean-Pierre Pommereau, A. Bourassa, Jacques Pelon, et al.. Major influence of tropical volcanic eruptions on the stratospheric aerosol layer during the last decade. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2011, 38 (12), pp.L12807. ⟨10.1029/2011GL047563⟩. ⟨hal-00608216⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

543

Files downloads

321