Skip to navigationSkip to contentSkip to footer

2014 News in Brief



Small Volcanic Eruptions Have Big Impact on Climate Models

Written by:

New research published in the journal Geophysical Review Letters shows that relatively small volcanic eruptions can increase aerosol particles in the atmosphere, temporarily mitigating the global warming caused by greenhouse gases. The impact of these smaller eruptions has been underestimated in climate models and helps to explain the apparent slowdown in the pace of global warming recorded over the last 10 to 15 years, according to lead authors David Ridley, a CEE postdoc, and Professor Susan Solomon of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, and 15 other authors. The team found that small eruptions produce a significant amount of aerosol particles that reflect sunlight in a poorly monitored region of the upper atmosphere. This new information will be incorporated into the latest climate models to provide better estimates of global climate change over the coming decades, Ridley said.

Read the MIT News story: