Model physics and chemistry causing intermodel disagreement within the VolMIP-Tambora Interactive Stratospheric Aerosol ensemble

Margot Clyne, Jean Francois Lamarque, Michael J. Mills, Myriam Khodri, William Ball, Slimane Bekki, Sandip S. Dhomse, Nicolas Lebas, Graham Mann, Lauren Marshall, Ulrike Niemeier, Virginie Poulain, Alan Robock, Eugene Rozanov, Anja Schmidt, Andrea Stenke, Timofei Sukhodolov, Claudia Timmreck, Matthew Toohey, Fiona TummonDavide Zanchettin, Yunqian Zhu, Owen B. Toon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

As part of the Model Intercomparison Project on the climatic response to Volcanic forcing (VolMIP), several climate modeling centers performed a coordinated prestudy experiment with interactive stratospheric aerosol models simulating the volcanic aerosol cloud from an eruption resembling the 1815 Mt. Tambora eruption (VolMIP-Tambora ISA ensemble). The pre-study provided the ancillary ability to assess intermodel diversity in the radiative forcing for a large stratospheric-injecting equatorial eruption when the volcanic aerosol cloud is simulated interactively. An initial analysis of the VolMIP-Tambora ISA ensemble showed large disparities between models in the stratospheric global mean aerosol optical depth (AOD). In this study, we now show that stratospheric global mean AOD differences among the participating models are primarily due to differences in aerosol size, which we track here by effective radius. We identify specific physical and chemical processes that are missing in some models and/or parameterized differently between models, which are together causing the differences in effective radius. In particular, our analysis indicates that interactively tracking hydroxyl radical (OH) chemistry following a large volcanic injection of sulfur dioxide (SO2) is an important fac tor in allowing for the timescale for sulfate formation to be properly simulated. In addition, depending on the timescale of sulfate formation, there can be a large difference in effective radius and subsequently AOD that results from whether the SO2 is injected in a single model grid cell near the location of the volcanic eruption, or whether it is injected as a longitudinally averaged band around the Earth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3317-3343
Number of pages27
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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