Radiative Climate Forcing by the Mount Pinatubo Eruption

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Science  05 Mar 1993:
Vol. 259, Issue 5100, pp. 1411-1415
DOI: 10.1126/science.259.5100.1411


Radiative flux anomalies derived from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) spaceborne Earth Radiation Budget Experiment were used to determine the volcanic radiative forcing that followed the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in June 1991. They are the first unambiguous, direct measurements of large-scale volcanic forcing. The volcanic aerosols caused a strong cooling effect immediately; the amount of cooling increased through September 1991 as shortwave forcing increased relative to the longwave forcing. The primary effects of the aerosols were a direct increase in albedo over mostly clear areas and both direct and indirect increases in the albedo of cloudy areas.

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