Volcano eruption at different latitudes: A switch of hemispheric monsoon rainfall change

phys.org | 7/8/2019 | Staff
madalina09madalina09 (Posted by) Level 4
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Volcanic eruptions eject sulfur dioxide gas high into the atmosphere, forming sulfate aerosol chemically, and block the incoming sunlight like an umbrella. This causes surface cooling globally, but the response of global monsoon rainfall is different following volcano eruptions at different latitudes, according to quantitative research by Meng Zuo, a doctoral student from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, along with her mentors Prof. Tianjun Zhou and associate Prof. Wenmin Man.

This work is recently published in Journal of Climate.

Monsoon - Rainfall - Society - Two-thirds - World

Monsoon rainfall greatly impacts society since it affects over two-thirds of the world's population. Insufficient monsoon rainfall brings drought and famines to many parts of the world, while too much rainfall causes floods.

Following tropical volcanic eruptions, the monsoon circulation weakens and rainfall decreases consequently. But when we take the latitude of eruptions into consideration, the monsoon rainfall response changes accordingly. This phenomenon has been found in previous studies but the physical mechanism still remains inconclusive. Also the knowledge of the monsoon rainfall response to volcanic eruptions is crucial for adaptation.

Researchers - Sets - Data - Climate - Model

The researchers analyzed large sets of data and the climate model simulations to investigate the different impacts of northern, tropical and southern volcanic eruptions on the global monsoon rainfall. "In contrast to previous work, we used a diagnostic method to quantitatively analyze the factors determining rainfall response, which is helpful to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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