Data from: Interactive Stratospheric Aerosol models response to different amount and altitude of SO₂ injections during the 1991 Pinatubo eruption

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These files contain data supporting all results reported in Quaglia, et al. (2022), . in Quaglia, et al, we found: Recent model inter-comparison studies highlighted model discrepancies in reproducing the climatic impacts of large explosive volcanic eruptions, calling into question the reliability of global aerosol model simulations for future scenarios. Here, we analyse the simulated evolution of the stratospheric aerosol plume following the well observed June 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption by six interactive stratospheric aerosol microphysics models in comparison to a range of observational data sets. Our primary focus is on the uncertainties regarding initial SO2 emission following the Pinatubo eruption in 1991, as prescribed in the Historical Eruptions SO2 Emission Assessment experiments (HErSEA), in the framework of the Interactive Stratospheric Aerosol Model Intercomparison Project (ISA-MIP). Six global models with interactive aerosol microphysics took part in this study: ECHAM6-SALSA, EMAC, CHAM5-HAM, SOCOLAERv2, ULAQ-CCM and UM-UKCA. Model simulations are performed by varying SO2 injection amount (ranging between 5 and 10 Tg-S), and the altitude of injection (between 18-25 km). We find that the common and main weakness among all the models is that they can not reproduce the persistence of the sulfate aerosols in the stratosphere. Most models show a stronger transport towards the extratropics in the northern hemisphere, at the expense of the observed tropical confinement, suggesting a much weaker subtropical barrier in all the models, that results in a shorter e-folding time compared to the observations. Moreover, the simulations in which more than 5 Tg-S of SO2 are injected show a large surface area density a few months after the eruption compared to the values measured in the tropics and the in-situ measurements over Laramie. This results in an overestimation of the number of particles globally during the build-up phase, and an underestimation in the Southern Hemisphere, which draws attention to the importance of including processes as the ash injection and the eruption of Cerro Hudson.

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Support for D. V. was provided by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University and by the National Science Foundation through agreement CBET-1818759.

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volcanic eruption; Mt Pinatubo; model inter-comparison project; sulfate aerosols


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Quaglia, I., Timmreck, C., Niemeier, U., Visioni, D., Pitari, G., Brühl, C., Dhomse, S., Franke, H., Laakso, A., Mann, G., Rozanov, E., and Sukhodolov, T.: Interactive Stratospheric Aerosol models response to different amount and altitude of SO2 injections during the 1991 Pinatubo eruption, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss. [preprint],, in review, 2022.

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Attribution 4.0 International



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