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      Easy Volcanic Aerosol (EVA v1.0): an idealized forcing generator for climate simulations

      , , ,

      Geoscientific Model Development

      Copernicus GmbH

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          Abstract

          <p><strong>Abstract.</strong> Stratospheric sulfate aerosols from volcanic eruptions have a significant impact on the Earth's climate. To include the effects of volcanic eruptions in climate model simulations, the Easy Volcanic Aerosol (EVA) forcing generator provides stratospheric aerosol optical properties as a function of time, latitude, height, and wavelength for a given input list of volcanic eruption attributes. EVA is based on a parameterized three-box model of stratospheric transport and simple scaling relationships used to derive mid-visible (550<span class="thinspace"></span>nm) aerosol optical depth and aerosol effective radius from stratospheric sulfate mass. Precalculated look-up tables computed from Mie theory are used to produce wavelength-dependent aerosol extinction, single scattering albedo, and scattering asymmetry factor values. The structural form of EVA and the tuning of its parameters are chosen to produce best agreement with the satellite-based reconstruction of stratospheric aerosol properties following the 1991 Pinatubo eruption, and with prior millennial-timescale forcing reconstructions, including the 1815 eruption of Tambora. EVA can be used to produce volcanic forcing for climate models which is based on recent observations and physical understanding but internally self-consistent over any timescale of choice. In addition, EVA is constructed so as to allow for easy modification of different aspects of aerosol properties, in order to be used in model experiments to help advance understanding of what aspects of the volcanic aerosol are important for the climate system.</p>

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          Most cited references 55

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          Climate forcing by anthropogenic aerosols.

          Although long considered to be of marginal importance to global climate change, tropospheric aerosol contributes substantially to radiative forcing, and anthropogenic sulfate aerosol in particular has imposed a major perturbation to this forcing. Both the direct scattering of shortwavelength solar radiation and the modification of the shortwave reflective properties of clouds by sulfate aerosol particles increase planetary albedo, thereby exerting a cooling influence on the planet. Current climate forcing due to anthropogenic sulfate is estimated to be -1 to -2 watts per square meter, globally averaged. This perturbation is comparable in magnitude to current anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing but opposite in sign. Thus, the aerosol forcing has likely offset global greenhouse warming to a substantial degree. However, differences in geographical and seasonal distributions of these forcings preclude any simple compensation. Aerosol effects must be taken into account in evaluating anthropogenic influences on past, current, and projected future climate and in formulating policy regarding controls on emission of greenhouse gases and sulfur dioxide. Resolution of such policy issues requires integrated research on the magnitude and geographical distribution of aerosol climate forcing and on the controlling chemical and physical processes.
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            Breaking planetary waves in the stratosphere

             T Palmer,  M. McIntyre (1983)
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              Global tracking of the SO2clouds from the June, 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruptions

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Geoscientific Model Development
                Geosci. Model Dev.
                Copernicus GmbH
                1991-9603
                2016
                November 11 2016
                : 9
                : 11
                : 4049-4070
                Article
                10.5194/gmd-9-4049-2016
                © 2016
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