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Major Influence of Tropical Volcanic Eruptions on the Stratospheric Aerosol Layer During the Last DecadeThe variability of stratospheric aerosol loading between 1985 and 2010 is explored with measurements from SAGE II, CALIPSO, GOMOS/ENVISAT, and OSIRIS/Odin space-based instruments. We find that, following the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, stratospheric aerosol levels increased by as much as two orders of magnitude and only reached background levels between 1998 and 2002. From 2002 onwards, a systematic increase has been reported by a number of investigators. Recently, the trend, based on ground-based lidar measurements, has been tentatively attributed to an increase of SO2 entering the stratosphere associated with coal burning in Southeast Asia. However, we demonstrate with these satellite measurements that the observed trend is mainly driven by a series of moderate but increasingly intense volcanic eruptions primarily at tropical latitudes. These events injected sulfur directly to altitudes between 18 and 20 km. The resulting aerosol particles are slowly lofted into the middle stratosphere by the Brewer-Dobson circulation and are eventually transported to higher latitudes.
Document ID
20110013675
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Authors
Vernier, Jean-Paul (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Thomason, Larry W. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Pommereau, J.-P. (Universite de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Versailles, France)
Bourassa, Adam (Saskatchewan Univ. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada)
Pelon, Jacques (Universite de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Versailles, France)
Garnier, Anne (Universite de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Versailles, France)
Hauchecorne, A. (Universite de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Versailles, France)
Blanot, L. (Universite de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Versailles, France)
Trepte, Charles R. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Degenstein, Doug (Saskatchewan Univ. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada)
Vargas, F. (Paraiba Univ. Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
June 30, 2011
Publication Information
Publication: Geophysical Research Letters
Volume: 38
ISSN: 0094-8276
Subject Category
Meteorology and Climatology
Report/Patent Number
NF1676L-13128
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 479717.02.01.01.38
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other