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frankendoodle

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Volcanic Eruptions Possible Effects on Arctic Sea Ice
« on: March 19, 2013, 03:54:17 PM »
http://www.livescience.com/27973-kizimen-volcano-eruption-image.html
This recent eruption got me thinking about volcanoes in the upper northern hemisphere's role in sea ice formation/melt.
On one hand, the eruptions emit alot of sulphur dioxide and other particulates into the upper atmosphere that reflect sunlight producing a cooling effect.
On the other hand, at least some of the ash from the eruption will end up on sea ice lowering its albedo.
Please post any information and/or idea you might have on the subject.

ChrisReynolds

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Re: Volcanic Eruptions Possible Effects on Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2013, 06:18:41 PM »
Volcanic sulphate aerosols and soot deposits (including from industry) are not explicitly included in the NCEP/NCAR data that drives PIOMAS. These factors may appear in the observational data that drives NCEP/NCAR. However issues like albedo effects are not factored in.

This tells us that vulcanism has no strong role in the volume decline correctly modelled by PIOMAS. And it's the volume decline that drives the area/extent decline.

Jim Williams

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Re: Volcanic Eruptions Possible Effects on Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2013, 01:46:01 PM »
Historically, extremely large explosive eruptions have a short term cooling effect (1-2 years).  A quick glance at the article leads me to think this eruption won't have much effect.  You need to get the particulates into the stratosphere.

frankendoodle

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Re: Volcanic Eruptions Possible Effects on Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2013, 05:48:40 PM »
@Chris: I had no idea that albedo effects were not figured into POMAS models. I find it hard to believe soot from various sources does not lower the albedo of arctic sea ice when it has been responsible for the darkening of The Greenland Icesheet. While I readily concede that vulcanism and our industrial pollution do not play a significant role, the substantial increase of wildfires in the northern hemisphere over the past decade must have.

@Jim: Good point, thankyou Jim.

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Volcanic Eruptions Possible Effects on Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2013, 06:21:52 PM »
Also interesting is the possible effect Greenland ice (or lack of it - that is, sea level) has on volcanism:
http://earth-pages.co.uk/2013/03/20/climate-change-and-global-volcanism/
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

AndrewP

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Re: Volcanic Eruptions Possible Effects on Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2013, 07:15:49 PM »
The cooling effect of a volcano is primarily controlled by

1. The volume of SO2 that is released. Some volcanoes have a higher proportion of SO2 in their ejected material than others.

2. The height it is released at, particular the proportion that is released into the stratosphere where its life span is much longer.

3. The location. Tropical volcanoes cause more global cooling than high-latitude ones.

It typically takes a VEI 5 or higher to have significant climate impacts. El Chichon was a mid-range VEI 5 in 1982 that had observable global cooling effects. By contrast, Saint Helens in 1980 was a low-end VEI 5 and had very little if any global temperature impact. Pinatubo was a low-end VEI 6 in 1991 that had a peak global cooling of over .5C. Krakatoa in 1883 was a mid-range VEI 6 that had a global cooling of around 1C.  Tambora in 1815 was a lower-end VEI 7 that had a global cooling of nearly 1C and caused the "Year Without a Summer" and global famine. High-end 7s and 8s have even more catastrophic potential because they use up all the available oxidants in the stratosphere which neutralize the SO2. Thus the SO2 has a much longer lifespan, allowing for much more cooling to occur and also for more positive feedbacks. By the time cooling ceases for VEI 5s and 6s, most of the SO2 has already dissipated. By lengthening the lifespan of the SO2, the climate is able to approach equilibrium much closer to the peak RF value. Toba 74,000 years ago was a VEI 8 and is believed to have nearly caused the extinction of humans. Such an eruption is theorized to have a global cooling effect of up to 5C.

However, there have been VEI 4s known to cause climactic effects. This is because Laki emitted 6X more SO2 than Pinatubo, even though the total volume of Tephra was less than a tenth of Pinatubo's and the height of the ash cloud reached only 15,000 feet instead of 100,000 feet for Pinatubo. The cooling effects were concentrated more regionally because the huge volume of SO2 was emitted into the troposphere instead of the stratosphere.

The global cooling effect of any volcano would likely outweigh any albedo change of the ice from soot. An eruption like Pinatubo or Krakatoa has the power to temporarily return us to early 20th century climate when ice was far thicker and more expansive. The type of volcano might be important too with less explosive but higher SO2 content volcanoes like Laki potentially having a different effect than explosive volcanoes like Pinatubo, Chichon, Krakatoa, Tambora or Toba. The location is potentially important too because tropical volcanoes block more sunlight in total, but also might have cooling effects and soot deposition rates that vary by region.

A VEI 5 occurs about once a decade. A VEI 6 occurs about once or twice a century. 7s occur once every 1000 years.

dorlomin

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Re: Volcanic Eruptions Possible Effects on Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2013, 12:38:56 PM »
Cancelled flights may actually lead to a small short duration warming in summer due to less contrails.
Take it for granted you are wrong.
Just try to work out what about and why.

ChrisReynolds

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Re: Volcanic Eruptions Possible Effects on Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2013, 09:46:23 PM »
Frankendoodle,

To be clear, PIOMAS obviously does use albedo otherwise it would have no seasonal cycle. But the albedo effects of volcanic activity or industrial pollution are not represented in the equations at the core of the sea ice component.

windsphere

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Re: Volcanic Eruptions Possible Effects on Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2013, 05:43:23 AM »
I am new to this group- I have been reading for several weeks and working on water and climate for many years.

Is there a term for the re-positioning or re-loading of weight from the ice melt waters changing regions or plates? The opposite of isostatic rebound- or where the downward pressure migrates?

Peter Ellis

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Re: Volcanic Eruptions Possible Effects on Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2013, 10:35:03 AM »
Yeah, it's called isostatic rebound  ;D

Isostatic rebound simply refers to any adjustment of the underlying rocks in response to changes in surface loading.

gfwellman

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Re: Volcanic Eruptions Possible Effects on Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2013, 08:22:09 PM »
The "neutral" term is isostatic adjustment.  Rebound has a historical implication of upward motion, so adjustment is the better term.  There doesn't seem to be a specific term for downward motion.  I suppose you could use isostatic subsidence, but negative isostatic adjustment would probably be more standard, if wordy.

windsphere

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Re: Volcanic Eruptions Possible Effects on Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2013, 09:14:00 PM »
 Thank you both for the explanations-

8) cool! - no wonder it was not googleing up. 

I have been looking for this shifting weight and never imagined that rebound was also downward pressure -- OK, so I am not a scientist. I build things and have been watching water issues and climate for many years. 

I would appreciate it if  you can help me to understand where that ice-turned to water - "weight" is repositioning itself...

I am a visual so any images are great-   thanks

johnm33

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Re: Volcanic Eruptions Possible Effects on Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2013, 09:34:52 PM »
windsphere go to 'consequences' and take a look at the vid, courtesy of vergent, on 'why does the rate of sea level change vary by location'

Ice Cool Kim

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Re: Volcanic Eruptions Possible Effects on Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2013, 09:39:32 PM »
Quote
To be clear, PIOMAS obviously does use albedo otherwise it would have no seasonal cycle. But the albedo effects of volcanic activity or industrial pollution are not represented in the equations at the core of the sea ice component.

Where can I find out that kind of detail about PIOMAS?

tnx

ChrisReynolds

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Re: Volcanic Eruptions Possible Effects on Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2013, 10:12:41 PM »
Start with Zhang's 2003 paper which describes the core physics parameterisation.
http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/Pubs/POIM.pdf
But you'll also need to follow some of the refs as certain aspects are detailed in papers like Winton's paper on a sea ice model, this seems to be what is used in PIOMAS.
http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/mw0001.pdf
Also Schweiger's  2011 paper:
http://psc.apl.washington.edu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/schweiger/pubs/IceVolume-2011-06-02-accepted-with-figures.pdf
That's very necessary reading regards PIOMAS.

Ice Cool Kim

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Re: Volcanic Eruptions Possible Effects on Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2013, 01:45:05 PM »
Quote
But you'll also need to follow some of the refs as certain aspects are detailed in papers like Winton's paper on a sea ice model, this seems to be what is used in PIOMAS.

Thanks Chris, so there's no definitive documentation. It a bit a guessing game it seems.

ChrisReynolds

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Re: Volcanic Eruptions Possible Effects on Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2013, 06:52:10 PM »
No it's just a matter of pursuing references where you need more background. The references are listed at the end of the paper.

I'm pondering whether I can use the Winton paper to make a single cell single column model to examine the effect of ice thinning.

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Volcanic Eruptions Possible Effects on Arctic Sea Ice
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2013, 06:46:08 AM »
A couple questions if I may?
1. The volume of SO2 that is released. Some volcanoes have a higher proportion of SO2 in their ejected material than others.

My understanding is that the effects of SO2 on the Arctic are a little more complex, which is to say that globally it will cause cooling on average but could actually cause the opposite effect in the Arctic? Presumably due to the effects in winter on outgoing radiation.

http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/10/5999/2010/acp-10-5999-2010.pdf
With particular reference to HADGEM2 output in Fig 2a.

Isn't there a theoretical possibility a sufficiently large volcano, while globally cooling things, might be unhelpful for the Arctic?

A VEI 5 occurs about once a decade. A VEI 6 occurs about once or twice a century. 7s occur once every 1000 years.

I'm curious if any conclusive (or at least "interesting") studies have been done on the longer term effects of postglacial rebound and the effects upon tectonics? I'm under the impression eventually (and I mean very long term) there would be a significant increase in the quantity of earthquakes and volcanoes?

If so I suppose one could add it to the negative feedback list (a minor item) along with much larger deserts (presumably a more important ultimate negative feedback due to the albedo shift)?

Toba is interesting in how serious the effects appear to have been for our species - in my opinion demonstrating that we really don't need a particularly unusual or unprecedented event in the earth system to put us in serious trouble (while noting it's obviously not a good analogue for today).