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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 9, issue 11
Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 4049–4070, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-9-4049-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: The Model Intercomparison Project on the climatic response...

Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 4049–4070, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-9-4049-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Model description paper 11 Nov 2016

Model description paper | 11 Nov 2016

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

Matthew Toohey1,2, Bjorn Stevens1, Hauke Schmidt1, and Claudia Timmreck1 Matthew Toohey et al.
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
  • 2GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, Germany

Abstract. 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 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.

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Short summary
Stratospheric sulfate aerosols from volcanic eruptions have a significant impact on the Earth's climate. The Easy Volcanic Aerosol (EVA) volcanic forcing generator provides a tool whereby the optical properties of volcanic aerosols can be included in climate model simulations in a self-consistent, complete, and flexible manner. EVA is based on satellite observations of the 1991 Pinatubo eruption but can be applied to any real or hypothetical eruption of interest.
Stratospheric sulfate aerosols from volcanic eruptions have a significant impact on the Earth's...
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