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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-147
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-147
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 30 Mar 2020

Submitted as: research article | 30 Mar 2020

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Impact of the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo on the chemical composition of the stratosphere

Markus Kilian, Sabine Brinkop, and Patrick Jöckel Markus Kilian et al.
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

Abstract. This article describes the volcanic effect of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in June 1991 on the ozone (O3) and methane (CH4) distribution in the stratosphere, as simulated with the chemistry-climate model EMAC (ECHAM5 version 5.3.02, MESSy version 2.51). For the first time, the effects of volcanic heating and heterogeneous chemistry on the chemical composition, caused by the volcanic aerosol, are separated. Global model simulations over the relevant period of the eruption from 1989 to 1997 with EMAC in T42L90MA resolution with specified dynamics and interactive chemistry were performed. The first simulation (VOL) contains the volcanic perturbation as additional aerosol load and thus simulates the interaction of the aerosol with the chemistry and the radiation. The second simulation (NOVOL) neglects the eruption and represents the undisturbed atmosphere. In the third simulation (CVOL) the volcanic aerosol only interacts with the heterogeneous chemistry, such that volcanic heating is omitted. The differences between the simulation results VOL-NOVOL describe the total effect of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption on the chemical composition, VOL-CVOL the stratospheric heating effect and CVOL-NOVOL the chemical effect of the aerosol on the heterogeneous chemistry. The post volcanic stratosphere shows a decrease of the O3 column in the tropics, and an increase in the mid-latitudes and polar regions, lasting roughly one year. This change in the ozone column is solely a result of the heating effect. The subsequent decrease of the ozone column is related to the chemical effect. The contribution of the catalytic loss cycles (NOx, HOx, ClOx and BrOx on the depletion of O3 is analysed in detail. In the tropics, CH4 increases in the upper stratosphere because of stronger vertical transport.

Markus Kilian et al.

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Markus Kilian et al.

Markus Kilian et al.

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Short summary
After the volcanic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, ozone is decreased in the tropics and increased in the mid-latitudes and polar regions for one year. The change in the ozone column is solely a result of the volcanic heating, followed by an ozone decrease in the higher latitudes. This is caused by the volcanic aerosol, which changes the heterogeneous chemistry and thus the catalytic ozone loss cycles. Vertical transport of water vapour is enhanced by volcanic heating and increases methane.
After the volcanic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, ozone is decreased in the tropics and...
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