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Radiative forcing by super-volcano eruptions
  • Eirik Rolland Enger,
  • Rune Grand Graversen,
  • Audun Theodorsen
Eirik Rolland Enger
UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Rune Grand Graversen
Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute
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Audun Theodorsen
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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We investigate the climatic effects of volcanic eruptions spanning from Mt.\ Pinatubo-sized events to super-volcanoes. The study is based on ensemble simulations in the Community Earth System Model Version 2 (CESM2) climate model using the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model Version 6 (WACCM6) atmosphere model. Our analysis focuses on the impact of different \ce{SO2}-amount injections on stratospheric aerosol optical depth (AOD), effective radiative forcing (RF), and global temperature anomalies. Unlike the traditional linear models used for smaller eruptions, our results reveal a non-linear relationship between RF and AOD for larger eruptions. We also uncover a notable time-dependent decrease in aerosol forcing efficiency across all eruption magnitudes during the first post-eruption year. In addition, the study reveals that larger as compared to medium-sized eruption events produce a delayed and sharper peak in AOD, and a longer-lasting temperature response while the time evolution of RF remains similar between the two eruption types. When including the results of previous studies, we find that relating \ce{SO2} to any other parameter is inconsistent across models compared to the relationships between AOD, RF, and temperature anomaly. Thus, we expect the largest uncertainty in model codes to relate to the chemistry and physics of \ce{SO2} evolution. Finally, we find that the peak RF approaches a limiting value, and that the peak temperature response follows linearly, effectively bounding the temperature anomaly to at most \(\sim\SI{-12}{\kelvin}\).