High sensitivity of summer temperatures to stratospheric sulfur loading from volcanoes in the Northern Hemisphere

Andrea Burke*, Laura Crick, Kevin J. Anchukaitis, Helen Innes, Michael P. Byrne, William Hutchison, Joseph R. McConnell, Kathryn A. Moore, James W. B. Rae, Michael Sigl, Rob Wilson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The 540s, 1450s, and 1600s represent three of the five coldest decades in the Common Era (CE). In each of these cases, the cause of these cold pulses has been attributed to large volcanic eruptions. However, the provenance of the eruption and magnitude of the volcanic forcing remains uncertain. Here, we use high-resolution sulfur isotopes in Greenland and Antarctic ice cores measured across these events to provide a means of improving sulfur loading estimates for these eruptions. In each case, the largest reconstructed tree-ring cooling is associated with an extratropical eruption, and the high-altitude stratospheric sulfate loading of these events is substantially smaller than previous estimates (by up to a factor of two). These results suggest an increased sensitivity of the reconstructed Northern Hemisphere summer temperature response to extratropical eruptions. This highlights the importance of climate feedbacks and processes that amplify and prolong the cooling signal from high latitudes, such as changes in sea ice extent and ocean heat content.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2221810120
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume120
Issue number47
Early online date6 Nov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2023

Keywords

  • Volcanoes
  • Climate
  • Ice cores
  • Sulfur isotopes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'High sensitivity of summer temperatures to stratospheric sulfur loading from volcanoes in the Northern Hemisphere'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this