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Impact of the Eruption of Mt. Pinatubo on the chemical composition of the tropical atmosphere as simulated with EMAC

Kilian, Markus (2018) Impact of the Eruption of Mt. Pinatubo on the chemical composition of the tropical atmosphere as simulated with EMAC. Master's, DLR, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre und Univ. Innsbruck.

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The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo on the 12 th June 1991 affected the atmosphere in the tropics (20° S - 20° N) by stratospheric heating and by a change of the heterogeneous chemistry, due to a large sulphate aerosol load. We use the EMAC model, a numerical chemistry climate model to study the impact of the eruption on the atmosphere. The sulphate aerosols are prescribed and based on satellite observations. Three different simulations were performed, namely VOL including the full volcanic perturbation, NOVOL omitting volcanic aerosols and CVOL neglecting the heating induced by volcanic aerosols. The differences between the simulations separate the temperature effect from the pure chemical effect in the stratosphere. The maximum of the volcanically induced heating is reached 4 months after the eruption at 50 hPa with 4 K. The total heating is composed of the radiative heating by stratospheric aerosols and by a change of the chemical composition. Neglecting the radiative heating by aerosols, the pure chemical effect heats the stratosphere at 10 hPa by 0.4 K and cools the lower stratosphere by 0.4 K. The total ozone column is reduced by 14 DU (6 %) within 3 months after the eruption lasting until the end of 1991. The contribution to this reduction arises primarily from the stratospheric heating by volcanic aerosols at the 20 to 50 hPa levels with 0.6 ppmv, which is 10 %. This volcanic heating increases the vertical ascent and displaces the O 3 maximum to higher altitudes. Also, the temperature increase accelerates the heterogeneous reaction rates. The pure chemical effect shows a slight increase of ozone in the first year after the eruption and a decrease in the following years. Ozone increases at 10 hPa by 0.7 ppmv (4 %). The increased aerosol surface accelerates the heterogeneous reactions, so that more NO x is converted into HNO 3 . As a result the NO x cycle to deplete ozone slows down, and the ClO x , HO x and O x cycle partly compensate the ozone depletion. The volcanic heating increases the cold point temperature, so that stratospheric water vapour (SWV) increases by 25 %, but decreases SWV further above by an enhanced uplifting. The cooling of the lower stratosphere, due to the pure chemical effect, reduces the SWV transport by 4 %. Moreover, volcanic aerosols enhance the nucleation of water vapour to liquid and ice and subsequently decrease the SWV content. Therefore the chemical effect without the volcanic heating damps the overall SWV increase. Water vapour alters the availability of OH, which mainly determines the lifetime of methane. Therefore CH 4 increases at the beginning of the eruption above 25 hPa by up to 10 %, at those regions where less SWV is available to form OH and ozone. This study shows that the temperature and the chemical effect of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption on the chemical composition can be separated and proved both effects to be additive. The impact of both effects on the chemical composition especially on ozone and SWV is contrary. The ozone column is reduced by the volcanic heating but slightly increases due to the chemical effect.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/120915/
Document Type:Thesis (Master's)
Title:Impact of the Eruption of Mt. Pinatubo on the chemical composition of the tropical atmosphere as simulated with EMAC
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Kilian, MarkusDLR, IPA und Universität InnsbruckUNSPECIFIED
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Number of Pages:67
Keywords:Mt. Pinatubo volcanic eruption, chemistry-climate simulations, ESCiMo Project, Ozondistribution
Institution:DLR, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre und Univ. Innsbruck
Department:Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Atmospheric and climate research
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Earth System Modelling
Deposited By: Brinkop, Dr. Sabine
Deposited On:13 Jul 2018 11:25
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:18

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