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Simulating the Effects of the 1991 Mount Pinatubo Volcanic Eruption Using the ARPEGE Atmosphere General Circulation Model


doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0213-3

  • The climate changes that occured following the volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Phillippines on 15 June 1991 have been simulated using the ARPEGE atmosphere general circulation model (AGCM). The model was forced by a reconstructed spatial-time distribution of stratospheric aerosols intended for use in long climate simulations. Four statistical ensembles of the AGCM simulations with and without volcanic aerosols over a period of 5 years following the eruption have been made, and the calculated fields have been compared to available observations. The model is able to reproduce some of the observed features after the eruption, such as the winter warming pattern that was observed over the Northern Hemisphere (NH) during the following winters. This pattern was caused by an enhanced Equator-to-pole temperature gradient in the stratosphere that developed due to aerosol heating of the tropics. This in turn led to a strengthening of the polar vortex, which tends to modulate the planetary wave field in such a way that an anomalously positive Arctic Oscillation pattern is produced in the troposphere and at the surface, favouring warm conditions over the NH. During the summer, the model produced a more uniform cooling over the NH.
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Manuscript History

Manuscript received: 10 March 2008
Manuscript revised: 10 March 2008
通讯作者: 陈斌, bchen63@163.com
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Simulating the Effects of the 1991 Mount Pinatubo Volcanic Eruption Using the ARPEGE Atmosphere General Circulation Model

  • 1. Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, Thormohlensgt. 47, 5006 Bergen, Norway;Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Allegt. 55, 5007 Bergen, Norway

Abstract: The climate changes that occured following the volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Phillippines on 15 June 1991 have been simulated using the ARPEGE atmosphere general circulation model (AGCM). The model was forced by a reconstructed spatial-time distribution of stratospheric aerosols intended for use in long climate simulations. Four statistical ensembles of the AGCM simulations with and without volcanic aerosols over a period of 5 years following the eruption have been made, and the calculated fields have been compared to available observations. The model is able to reproduce some of the observed features after the eruption, such as the winter warming pattern that was observed over the Northern Hemisphere (NH) during the following winters. This pattern was caused by an enhanced Equator-to-pole temperature gradient in the stratosphere that developed due to aerosol heating of the tropics. This in turn led to a strengthening of the polar vortex, which tends to modulate the planetary wave field in such a way that an anomalously positive Arctic Oscillation pattern is produced in the troposphere and at the surface, favouring warm conditions over the NH. During the summer, the model produced a more uniform cooling over the NH.

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