Global Temperature Responses to Large Tropical Volcanic Eruptions in Paleo Data Assimilation Products and Climate Model Simulations Over the Last Millennium

E. Tejedor*, N. Steiger, J. E. Smerdon, R. Serrano-Notivoli, M. Vuille

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Large volcanic eruptions are one of the dominant perturbations to global and regional atmospheric temperatures on timescales of years to decades. Discrepancies remain, however, in the estimated magnitude and persistence of the surface temperature cooling caused by volcanic eruptions, as characterized by paleoclimatic proxies and climate models. We investigate these discrepancies in the context of large tropical eruptions over the Last Millennium using two state-of-the-art data assimilation products, the Paleo Hydrodynamics Data Assimilation product (PHYDA) and the Last Millennium Reanalysis (LMR), and simulations from the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Earth System Model-Last Millennium Ensemble (NCAR CESM-LME). We find that PHYDA and LMR estimate mean global and hemispheric cooling that is similar in magnitude and persistence once effects from eruptions occurring in short succession are removed. The estimates also compare well to Northern-Hemisphere reconstructions based solely or partially on tree-ring density, which have been proposed as the most accurate proxy estimates of surface cooling due to volcanism. All proxy-based estimates also agree well with the magnitude of the mean cooling simulated by the CESM-LME. Differences remain, however, in the spatial patterns of the temperature responses in the PHYDA, LMR, and the CESM-LME. The duration of cooling anomalies also persists for several years longer in the PHYDA and LMR relative to the CESM-LME. Our results demonstrate progress in resolving discrepancies between proxy- and model-based estimates of temperature responses to volcanism, but also indicate these estimates must be further reconciled to better characterize the risks of future volcanic eruptions.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere2020PA004128
JournalPaleoceanography and Paleoclimatology
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021. The Authors.

Keywords

  • Last Millennium
  • data assimilation
  • global
  • temperature response
  • tropical volcanic forcing

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