EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Impact of the Ambae, Raikoke and Ulawun eruptions in 2018-2019 on the global stratospheric aerosol layer and climate

Corinna Kloss1, Pasquale Sellitto2, Bernard Legras3, Jean-Paul Vernier4,5, Fabrice Jégou1, M. Venkat Ratnam6, B. Suneel Kumar7, B. Lakshmi Madhavan6, Maxim Eremenko2, and Gwenaël Berthet1
Corinna Kloss et al.
  • 1Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l'Environnement et de l'Espace (LPC2E), CNRS/Université d'Orléans, Orléans, France (,,
  • 2Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systémes Atmosphériques, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris-Est Créteil, Université de Paris, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, Créteil, France (,
  • 3Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, UMR8539, CNRS – École Normale Supérieure/Université Pierre et Marie Curie/École Polytechnique, Paris, France (
  • 4Science Systems and Applications, Inc, Hampton, Virginia, USA (
  • 5NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia, USA (
  • 6National Atmospheric Research Laboratory, Department of Space, Gadanki-517112, India (,
  • 7National balloon facility, TIFR, Hyderabad, India (

Using a combination of satellite, ground-based and in-situ observations, and radiative transfer modelling, we quantify the impact of the most recent moderate volcanic eruptions (Ambae, Vanuatu in July 2018; Raikoke, Russia and Ulawun, New Guinea in June 2019) on the global stratospheric aerosol layer and climate.

For the Ambae volcano (15°S and 167°E), we use the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment III (SAGE III), the Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS), the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) and Himawari geostationary satellite observations of the aerosol plume evolution following the Ambae eruption of July 2018. It is shown that the aerosol plume of the main eruption at Ambae in July 2018 was distributed throughout the global stratosphere within the global large-scale circulation (Brewer-Dobson circulation, BDC), to both hemispheres. Ground-based LiDAR observations in Gadanki, India, as well as in-situ Printed Optical Particle Spectrometer (POPS) measurements acquired during the BATAL campaign confirm a widespread perturbation of the stratospheric aerosol layer due to this eruption. Using the UVSPEC radiative transfer model, we also estimate the radiative forcing of this global stratospheric aerosol perturbation. The climate impact is shown to be comparable to that of the well-known and studied recent moderate stratospheric eruptions from Kasatochi (USA, 2008), Sarychev (Russia, 2009) and Nabro (Eritrea, 2011). Top of the atmosphere radiative forcing values between -0.45 and -0.60 W/m2, for the Ambae eruption of July 2018, are found.

In a similar manner the dispersion of the aerosol plume of the Raikoke (48°N and 153°E) and Ulawun (5°S and 151°E) eruptions of June 2019 is analyzed. As both of those eruptions had a stratospheric impact and happened almost simultaneously, it is challenging to completely distinguish both events. Even though the eruptions occurred very recently, first results show that the aerosol plume of the Raikoke eruption resulted in an increase in aerosol extinction values, double as high as compared to that of the Ambae eruption. However, as the eruption occurred on higher latitudes, the main bulk of Raikoke aerosols was transported towards the northern higher latitude’s in the stratosphere within the BDC, as revealed by OMPS, SAGE III and a new detection algorithm for SO2 and sulfate aerosol using IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounder Interferometer). Even though the Raikoke eruption had a larger impact on the stratospheric aerosol layer, both events (the eruptions at Raikoke and Ambae) have to be considered in stratospheric aerosol budget and climate studies.

How to cite: Kloss, C., Sellitto, P., Legras, B., Vernier, J.-P., Jégou, F., Ratnam, M. V., Kumar, B. S., Madhavan, B. L., Eremenko, M., and Berthet, G.: Impact of the Ambae, Raikoke and Ulawun eruptions in 2018-2019 on the global stratospheric aerosol layer and climate, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2406,, 2020

Comments on the presentation

AC: Author Comment | CC: Community Comment | Report abuse

Presentation version 2 – uploaded on 05 May 2020 , no comments
I added a slide for the early plume development with IASI
Presentation version 1 – uploaded on 05 May 2020 , no comments