Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research

Sulphate aerosol in the stratosphere


The temporal development of stratospheric sulphate aerosol in the Northern hemisphere is shown for various stratospheric altitudes. The left panel shows MIPAS measurements, while in the right panel related model calculations are shown. Locations and times of four volcanic eruptions are shown.

Interestingly, at altitudes of about 18 km and above, volcanic aerosol is fed into the tropical pipe, where it is then redistributed by the Brewer-Dobson circulation. This effect needs consideration in the assessment of climate engineering scenarios. The prediction of climate effects of stratospheric aerosol loading thus may not be as easy as one might think.

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