Large Volcanic Aerosol Load in the Stratosphere Linked to Asian Monsoon Transport

Science  06 Jul 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6090, pp. 78-81
DOI: 10.1126/science.1219371

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The Nabro stratovolcano in Eritrea, northeastern Africa, erupted on 13 June 2011, injecting approximately 1.3 teragrams of sulfur dioxide (SO2) to altitudes of 9 to 14 kilometers in the upper troposphere, which resulted in a large aerosol enhancement in the stratosphere. The SO2 was lofted into the lower stratosphere by deep convection and the circulation associated with the Asian summer monsoon while gradually converting to sulfate aerosol. This demonstrates that to affect climate, volcanic eruptions need not be strong enough to inject sulfur directly to the stratosphere.

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