Quantifying the impact of early 21st century volcanic eruptions on global-mean surface temperature

Paul-Arthur Monerie, Marie-Pierre Moine, Laurent Terray, Sophie Valcke
2017 Environmental Research Letters  
LETTER • OPEN ACCESS Quantifying the impact of early 21st century volcanic eruptions on global-mean surface temperature To cite this article: Paul-Arthur Monerie et al 2017 Environ. Res. Lett. 12 054010 View the article online for updates and enhancements. Related content Forecasting the climate response to volcanic eruptions: prediction skill related to stratospheric aerosol forcing M Ménégoz, R Bilbao, O Bellprat et al. -The role of external forcing and internal variability in regulating
more » ... in regulating global mean surface temperatures on decadal timescales Lu Dong and Michael J McPhaden -Observed and simulated temperature extremes during the recent warming hiatus Abstract Despite a continuous increase in well-mixed greenhouse gases, the global-mean surface temperature has shown a quasi-stabilization since 1998. This muted warming has been linked to the combined effects of internal climate variability and external forcing. The latter includes the impact of recent increase in the volcanic activity and of solar irradiance changes. Here we used a high-resolution coupled ocean-atmosphere climate model to assess the impact of the recent volcanic eruptions on the Earth's temperature, compared with the low volcanic activity of the early 2000s. Two sets of simulations are performed, one with realistic aerosol optical depth values, and the other with a fixed value of aerosol optical depth corresponding to a period of weak volcanic activity (1998)(1999)(2000)(2001)(2002). We conclude that the observed recent increase in the volcanic activity led to a reduced warming trend (from 2003 to 2012) of 0.08°C in ten years. The induced cooling is stronger during the last five-year period (2008)(2009)(2010)(2011)(2012), with an annual global mean cooling of 0.04°C (þ/À 0.04°C). The cooling is similar in summer (0.05°C þ/À 0.04°C cooling) than in winter (0.03°C þ/À 0.04°C cooling), but stronger in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere. Although equatorial and Arctic precipitation decreases in summer, the change in precipitation does not indicate robust changes at a local scale. Global heat content variations are found not to be impacted by the recent increase in volcanic activity.
doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aa6cb5 fatcat:7dxchxah3ngjvi3ioizp2lumrm