EGU21-13387, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Interactive Stratospheric Aerosol models response to different sulfur injection amount and altitude distribution during volcanic eruption

Ilaria Quaglia1,2, Christoph Brühl3, Sandip Dhomse4, Henning Franke2, Anton Laakso5, Graham Mann4,6, Micheal Mills7, Ulrike Niemeier2, Giovanni Pitari1, Timofei Sukhodolov8, Claudia Timmreck2, Paolo Tuccella1, and Daniele Visioni9
Ilaria Quaglia et al.
  • 1Department of Physical and Chemical Sciences, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy (
  • 2The Atmosphere in the Earth System, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
  • 3Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
  • 4School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, U.K
  • 5Finnish Meteorological Institute, Kuopio, Finland
  • 6UK National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  • 7Atmospheric Chemistry Observations and Modeling, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 8Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos World Radiation Center, Davos, Switzerland
  • 9Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

Large magnitude tropical volcanic eruptions emit sulphur dioxide and other gases directly into the stratosphere, creating a long-lived volcanic aerosol cloud which scatter incoming solar radiation, absorbs outgoing terrestrial radiation, and can strongly affect the composition of the stratosphere.

Such major volcanic enhancements of the stratospheric aerosol layer have strong “direct effects” on climate via these influences on radiative transfer, primarily surface cooling via the reduced insolation, but also have a range of indirect effects, due to the volcanic aerosol cloud’s effects on stratospheric circulation, dynamics and chemistry.

In this study, we investigate the 3 largest volcanic enhancements to the stratospheric aerosol layer in the last 100 years (Mt Agung 1963; Mt El Chichón 1982; Mt Pinatubo 1991), comparing co-ordinated simulations within the so-called HErSEA experiments (Historical Eruptions SO2 Emission Assessment) several national climate modelling centres carried out for the model intercomparison project ISA-MIP.

The HErSEA experiment saw participating models performing interactive stratospheric aerosol simulations of each of the volcanic aerosol clouds with common upper-, mid- and lower-estimate amounts and injection heights of sulfur dioxide, in order to better understand known differences among modelling studies for which initial emission gives best agreement with observations. 

First, we compare results of several models HErSEA simulations with a range of observations, with the aim to find where there is agreement between the models and where there are differences, at the different initial sulfur injection amount and altitude distribution.

In this way, we could understand the differences and limitations in the mechanisms that controls the dynamical, microphysical and chemical processes of stratospheric aerosol layer.

How to cite: Quaglia, I., Brühl, C., Dhomse, S., Franke, H., Laakso, A., Mann, G., Mills, M., Niemeier, U., Pitari, G., Sukhodolov, T., Timmreck, C., Tuccella, P., and Visioni, D.: Interactive Stratospheric Aerosol models response to different sulfur injection amount and altitude distribution during volcanic eruption, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13387,, 2021.

Display materials

Display file

Comments on the display material

to access the discussion