MiKlip first phase: ALARM

ALARM aims to provide a volcano module for the planned integrated medium term forecast system, which describes the formation and temporal development of the volcanic aerosol and the associated radiative forcing realistically.

When the next volcano erupts, large changes in the Earth system are to be expected. For instance, as a response to the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, in the Philippines, global surface cooling with a maximum of about 0.4K was observed. But how predictable is the response of the Earth system to future eruptions? And how much will the response depend on factors such as the ocean state, or the season, location, and strength of the event?  In the case of a large Pinatubo size volcanic eruption, any decadal scale climate prediction neglecting the effects of this eruption will have very limited forecast skill. Thus, the main goal of our project is to provide a volcano module for the planned integrated medium term forecast system which describes the formation and temporal development of the volcanic aerosol and the associated radiative forcing realistically. The module will be applicable immediately after an eruption when the major climate relevant eruption parameter (amount of sulfur released into the stratosphere) has become available from satellite observations or other volcanological estimations.
For any given volcanic eruption it has to be decided if this specific event calls for a new decadal term climate prediction. This requires the performance and analysis of a series of sensitivity simulations investigating the possible climate impact of volcanic eruptions depending on location, source strength, and season of the eruption, and on the state of the tropical ocean. The simulation of the Pinatubo eruption serves as an ideal experiment to evaluate the prediction skill of the medium term forecast system.

Goals

  • Development of a volcano module for medium term climate predictions and its evaluation.
  • Investigation of the climate effects of large volcanic eruptions on decadal time scale in dependent on the initial state of the ocean, the season and the location of the eruption.
  • Understanding the role of dynamical coupling between stratosphere and troposphere for the medium term climate response to large volcanic eruptions by analyzing
  • the planetary wave activity in ECHAM6 depending on the model configuration.
  • the simulated dynamical response to volcanic eruptions (Pinatubo eruption) depending on the representation of volcanic aerosols and for different states of the atmosphere-ocean system.

More on ALARMNews-Icon

Contact

Max Planck Institut für Meteorologie
Dr. Claudia Timmreck
Dr. Hauke Schmidt

Uni Oslo
Dr. Kirstin Krüger