Climatic impact of volcanic emissions

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Scopus citations


Studying the impacts of volcanic eruptions on climate is important because it helps us improve climate models, it allows us to make seasonal and interannual climate forecasts following large eruptions, it provides support for nuclear winter theory, and it allows us to separate the natural causes of interdecadal climate change from anthropogenic effects, giving us greater confidence in the attribution of recent global warming to anthropogenic causes. While much has been learned since the large 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines, there are still quite a few outstanding research problems, which are discussed here. These questions include: What exactly goes into the atmosphere during an explosive eruption? How can we better quantify the record of past climatically-significant volcanism? Can we design an improved system for measuring and monitoring the atmospheric gases and aerosols resulting from future eruptions? How can we better model the climatic impact of eruptions, including microphysics, chemistry, transport, radiation, and dynamical responses? How do high-latitude eruptions affect climate? How important are indirect effects of volcanic emissions on clouds? Where are the important potential sites for future eruptions?.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe State of the Planet
Subtitle of host publicationFrontiers and Challenges in Geophysics, 2004
EditorsC.J. Hawkesworth, R.S.J. Sparks
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781118666012
ISBN (Print)9780875904153
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

Publication series

NameGeophysical Monograph Series
ISSN (Print)0065-8448
ISSN (Electronic)2328-8779


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics

Cite this

Robock, A. (2004). Climatic impact of volcanic emissions. In C. J. Hawkesworth, & R. S. J. Sparks (Eds.), The State of the Planet: Frontiers and Challenges in Geophysics, 2004 (pp. 125-134). (Geophysical Monograph Series; Vol. 150). Blackwell Publishing Ltd.