In situ and space-based observations of the Kelud volcanic plume: The...

Jean-Paul, J., T. D. Fairlie, T. L. Deshler, M. Natarajan, T. Knepp, K. Foster, F. G. Wienhold, K. Bedka, L. W. Thomason, and C. Trepte (2016), In situ and space-based observations of the Kelud volcanic plume: The persistence of ash in the lower stratosphere, J. Geophys. Res., 121, 11,104-11,118, doi:10.1002/2016JD025344.

Volcanic eruptions are important causes of natural variability in the climate system at all time scales. Assessments of the climate impact of volcanic eruptions by climate models almost universally assume that sulfate aerosol is the only radiatively active volcanic material. We report satellite observations from the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) on board the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) satellite after the eruption of Mount Kelud (Indonesia) on 13 February 2014 of volcanic materials in the lower stratosphere. Using these observations along with in situ measurements with the Compact Optical Backscatter AerosoL Detector (COBALD) backscatter sondes and optical particle counters (OPCs) made during a balloon field campaign in northern Australia, we find that fine ash particles with a radius below 0.3 μm likely represented between 20 and 28% of the total volcanic cloud aerosol optical depth 3 months after the eruption. A separation of 1.5–2 km between the ash and sulfate plumes is observed in the CALIOP extinction profiles as well as in the aerosol number concentration measurements of the OPC after 3 months. The settling velocity of fine ash with a radius of 0.3 μm in the tropical lower stratosphere is reduced by 50% due to the upward motion of the Brewer-Dobson circulation resulting a doubling of its lifetime. Three months after the eruption, we find a mean tropical clear-sky radiative forcing at the top of the atmosphere from the Kelud plume near !0.08 W/m2 after including the presence of ash; a value ~20% higher than if sulfate alone is considered. Thus, surface cooling following volcanic eruptions could be affected by the persistence of ash and should be considered in climate simulations.

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Upper Atmosphere Research Program (UARP)