Science Update: Volcanic sulfate deposition to Greenland and Antarctica: a modeling sensitivity study

In their JGR publication co-authored by SPARC scientist Claudia Timmreck, SSiRC activity leader, the assumption is tested using the MAECHAM5-HAM global aerosol-climate model that the atmospheric burden and deposition of volcanic sulfate aerosol are directly proportional. The deposition efficiency is found to depend on the magnitude and season of stratospheric sulfur injection. Eruptions with large SO2 injections are associated with increases in aerosol particle size, which influence sedimentation velocity and radiative properties, which in turn lead to dynamic changes including a strengthening of the winter polar vortices. This strengthening inhibits stratospheric aerosol transport to high latitudes and, for very large eruptions, a non-linear relationship of sulfate deposition is observed between Antarctica and Greenland (with sulfate deposition over Antarctica). These results may be of significance when interpreting ice core sulfate measurements.

Find the full article here.