PhD Student

Email: moritz.guenther@we dont want

Telephone: +49-40-41173-106

Room: 307

Max Planck Institut for Meteorology
Bundesstraße 53
D - 20146 Hamburg

Atmosphere in the Earth System

Research groups
Global Circulation and Climate, Stratospheric Forcing and Climate

Picture: Norbert Noreiks


Efficacy of volcanic radiative forcing: Large volcanic eruptions can enhance the aerosol layer in the stratosphere, which leads to increased reflection parts of incoming short wave radiation and thus surface cooling. The resulting cooling is less than expected, judging from the emerging energy imbalance and comparing to the relatively well understood reaction of the earth system to CO2 forcing. Using climate models, I try to elaborate the reasons for this and focus on the surface temperature patterns that arise from different forcings, specifically differences between warming and cooling. These temperature patterns determine the response of the earth and its efficacy in 'getting rid' of radiative perturbations.


Questions:  Why is the temperature response to a volcanic aerosol forcing small when compared to an equivalent CO2-caused forcing, i.e. why is the efficacy lower than one? What feedbacks cause the efficacy to be different from unity? What conclusions can be inferred for equilibrium climate sensitivity? In short: Which processes in the atmosphere are unique to volcanic aerosol forcing, and why?


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