Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 4.252 IF 4.252
  • IF 5-year value: 4.890 IF 5-year 4.890
  • CiteScore value: 4.49 CiteScore 4.49
  • SNIP value: 1.539 SNIP 1.539
  • SJR value: 2.404 SJR 2.404
  • IPP value: 4.28 IPP 4.28
  • h5-index value: 40 h5-index 40
  • Scimago H index value: 51 Scimago H index 51
Volume 11, issue 7 | Copyright
Geosci. Model Dev., 11, 2633-2647, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model evaluation paper 06 Jul 2018

Model evaluation paper | 06 Jul 2018

Stratospheric aerosol evolution after Pinatubo simulated with a coupled size-resolved aerosol–chemistry–climate model, SOCOL-AERv1.0

Timofei Sukhodolov1,2, Jian-Xiong Sheng3, Aryeh Feinberg2, Bei-Ping Luo2, Thomas Peter2, Laura Revell2,4, Andrea Stenke2, Debra K. Weisenstein3, and Eugene Rozanov1,2 Timofei Sukhodolov et al.
  • 1Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos and World Radiation Center, Davos, Switzerland
  • 2Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 3School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 4Bodeker Scientific, Christchurch, New Zealand

Abstract. We evaluate how the coupled aerosol–chemistry–climate model SOCOL-AERv1.0 represents the influence of the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo on stratospheric aerosol properties and atmospheric state. The aerosol module is coupled to the radiative and chemical modules and includes comprehensive sulfur chemistry and microphysics, in which the particle size distribution is represented by 40 size bins with radii spanning from 0.39nm to 3.2µm. SOCOL-AER simulations are compared with satellite and in situ measurements of aerosol parameters, temperature reanalyses, and ozone observations. In addition to the reference model configuration, we performed series of sensitivity experiments looking at different processes affecting the aerosol layer. An accurate sedimentation scheme is found to be essential to prevent particles from diffusing too rapidly to high and low altitudes. The aerosol radiative feedback and the use of a nudged quasi-biennial oscillation help to keep aerosol in the tropics and significantly affect the evolution of the stratospheric aerosol burden, which improves the agreement with observed aerosol mass distributions. The inclusion of van der Waals forces in the particle coagulation scheme suggests improvements in particle effective radius, although other parameters (such as aerosol longevity) deteriorate. Modification of the Pinatubo sulfur emission rate also improves some aerosol parameters, while it worsens others compared to observations. Observations themselves are highly uncertain and render it difficult to conclusively judge the necessity of further model reconfiguration. The model revealed problems in reproducing aerosol sizes above 25km and also in capturing certain features of the ozone response. Besides this, our results show that SOCOL-AER is capable of predicting the most important global-scale atmospheric effects following volcanic eruptions, which is also a prerequisite for an improved understanding of solar geoengineering effects from sulfur injections to the stratosphere.

Download & links
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The Pinatubo eruption in 1991 is the strongest directly observed volcanic event. In a series of experiments, we simulate its influence on the stratospheric aerosol layer using a state-of-the-art aerosol–chemistry–climate model, SOCOL-AERv1.0, and compare our results to observations. We show that SOCOL-AER reproduces the most important atmospheric effects and can therefore be used to study the climate effects of future volcanic eruptions and geoengineering by artificial sulfate aerosol.
The Pinatubo eruption in 1991 is the strongest directly observed volcanic event. In a series of...