Extratropical volcanoes influence climate more than assumed

The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 had a significant impact on climate, decreasing global mean temperature by about 0.5°C. Like the famous eruptions of Krakatau (1883) and Tambora (1815), Pinatubo is located in the tropics, which has been considered an important factor underlying its strong climate forcing. Now researchers find that explosive extratropical eruptions can have a strong impact on the climate as well.

The eruption of the Russian stratovolcano Sarychev Peak in 2009 seen from the ISS. The eruption transported sulphur gases into the stratosphere. Photo: NASA

In media

Scientists underestimated the influence of extratropical volcanoes on climate, UPI.com 29.1.2019

Kühleffekt nach Eruptionen in hohen und mittleren Breiten ist stärker als vermutet Auch außertropische Vulkane verändern das Klima, Scinexx 29.1.2019

Außertropische Vulkane beeinflussen das Klima stärker als vermutet, VBIO

Auch außertropische Vulkane verändern das Klima, FOCUS Online, 29.1.2019


Article from GEOMAR; 28 Jan. 2019 / Kiel, Oslo:

Extratropical volcanoes influence climate more than assumed (pdf: press release)

– Study shows surprisingly strong cooling after volcanic eruptions in mid and high latitudes.


Reference scientific article:

Toohey, M., Krüger, K., Schmidt, H., Timmreck, C., Sigl, M., Stoffel, M., & R., Wilson, 2019. Disproportionately strong climate forcing from extratropical explosive volcanic eruptionsNature Geoscience, Vol. 12, pages 100–107. DOI: 10.1038/s41561-018-0286-2


Notes and relevance for the VIKINGS-project

This study was supported by (among others) the NFR project “VIKINGS” and by the European Union project StratoClim.

The study is a product of the Volcanic Impacts on Climate and Society (VICS) working group, as part of the Past Global Changes (PAGES) project, which in turn received support from the US National Science Foundation and the Swiss Academy of Sciences.

Researchers behind the study are from these Departments:

Published Jan. 29, 2019 11:14 AM - Last modified Jan. 30, 2019 9:34 AM