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Aerosol Microphysics Simulations of the Mt. Pinatubo Eruption with the Ukca Composition-climate Model : Volume 14, Issue 2 (28/01/2014)

By Dhomse, S. S.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003988212
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 57
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Aerosol Microphysics Simulations of the Mt. Pinatubo Eruption with the Ukca Composition-climate Model : Volume 14, Issue 2 (28/01/2014)  
Author: Dhomse, S. S.
Volume: Vol. 14, Issue 2
Language: English
Subject: Science, Atmospheric, Chemistry
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Mann, G. W., Emmerson, K. M., Johnson, C. E., Chipperfield, M. P., O'connor, F., Dhomse, S. S.,...Carslaw, K. S. (2014). Aerosol Microphysics Simulations of the Mt. Pinatubo Eruption with the Ukca Composition-climate Model : Volume 14, Issue 2 (28/01/2014). Retrieved from

Description: School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds LS2 9JT, UK. We have enhanced the capability of a microphysical aerosol-chemistry module to simulate the atmospheric aerosol and precursor gases for both tropospheric and stratospheric conditions. Using the Mount Pinatubo eruption (June 1991) as a test case, we evaluate simulated aerosol properties in a composition-climate model against a range of satellite and in-situ observations. Simulations are performed assuming an injection of 20 Tg SO2 at 19–27 km in tropical latitudes, without any radiative feedback from the simulated aerosol. In both quiescent and volcanically perturbed conditions, simulated aerosol properties in the lower stratosphere show reasonable agreement with the observations. The model captures the observed timing of the maximum aerosol optical depth (AOD) and its decay timescale in both tropics and Northern Hemisphere (NH) mid-latitudes. There is also good qualitative agreement with the observations in terms of spatial and temporal variation of the aerosol effective radius (Reff), which peaks 6–8 months after the eruption. However, the model shows significant biases against some observational data sets. Simulated AOD and Surface Area Density (SAD) in the tropics are substantially higher than the gap-filled satellite data products during the first 6 months after the eruption. The model shows consistently weaker enhancement in Reff compared to satellite and in-situ measurements.

Simulated aerosol particle size distribution is also compared to NH mid-latitude in-situ balloon sounding measurements of size-resolved number concentrations. Before the eruption, the model captures the observed profiles of lower stratospheric particle number concentrations with radii larger than 5, 150 and 250 nm (N5, N150 and N250) very well. However, in the first 6 months after the eruption, the model shows high bias in N5 concentrations in the lower stratosphere, suggesting too strong nucleation. Following particle growth via condensation and coagulation, this bias in the finest particles propagates into a factor 2 high bias in N150. Our comparison suggests that new particle formation in the initial phase of large eruptions, and subsequent particle growth to optically-active sizes, might be playing an important role in determining the magnitude of the climate impacts from volcanoes like Pinatubo.

Aerosol microphysics simulations of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption with the UKCA composition-climate model

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