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MPI ESM Project Super Volcano . Claudia Timmreck and super volcano project group 24 May 2007. The project Since January 2006 internal project with ca. 20-25 active scientists from MPI-Met and a few external experts Project coordinator C. Timmreck. The Mission

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MPI ESM Project Super Volcano


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slide1

MPI ESM Project Super Volcano

Claudia Timmreck

and

super volcano project group

24 May 2007

mpi met integrated project super volcano
The project

Since January 2006 internal project with ca. 20-25 active scientists from MPI-Met and a few external experts

Project coordinator C. Timmreck

The Mission

to understand the complex feedback mechanisms of the earth system

to understand past climate changes

to improve our Earth System Model

MPI-Met Integrated Project „Super Volcano“
contents
Introduction

What is a super volcano?

Why studying a super volcano eruption?

Ongoing activities

Impact of large tephra deposit on vegetation and climate

Experiments with a middle atmosphere ESM

The Mt Pinatubo test case

Transport of fine ash and sulphate

Radiative forcing

Possible effects of volcanic eruptions on ENSO

Outlook

Contents
what is a super eruption
What is a super eruption ?

Super eruptions “are defined to be those eruptions yielding in excess of 1015kg of products (>150 times the mass of the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo)” (Mason et al, 2004).

Super eruptions are estimated to occur with a minimum frequency of 1.4 events/Myr (Mason et al, 2004), but in Earth history there were episodes with higher frequency.

super volcano sites
Super Volcano Sites

Most super eruptions occurred at subduction zones or from vents within large caldera lakes, hence initially water may have contributed.

historic super eruptions
Historic super eruptions
  • Toba:

The super eruption of the Indonesian volcano Toba 71-73 ± 5 ka BP (Rose and Chesner, 1987; Oppenheimer, 2002) was the largest known Quaternary eruption

  • Yellowstone:

Three super eruptions at Yellowstone are known: the Huckleberry Ridge Tuff eruption with an volume of erupted material of 2500 km3 2.1 Ma ago, the Mesa Falls Tuff eruption with 280 km3 erupted material 1.3 Ma ago and the Lava Creek Tuff eruption with a volume of 1000 km3 640000 years ago (e.g., Smith and Siegel, 2000).

  • Further possible sites for super volcanos:

Phlegrean Fields west of Naples, Lake Taupo (NZ), ….

slide7

Yellowstone Volcanic System

These eruptions spread volcanic ash over large parts of the North American continent, covering up to 1/3 of the continent with silicate ash of at least 10 cm depth.

why study super volcanic eruptions
Why study super volcanic eruptions?

Global scientific questions

  • What would be the global impact of a present day Yellowstone eruption (USA) or an eruption of the Phlegrean fields (Italy) ?

-> Advices for environmental, economic social and political consequences

  • Was the Young Toba Tuff eruption (74±2kyr BP) responsible for a bottle neck in human population around 70 kyr BP ?
  • Can super volcanic eruptions trigger ice ages ?

This project should help to understand past climate changes.

why study super volcanic eruptions10
Why study super volcanic eruptions?

Super volcanos constitute extremely strong forcing to all compartments of the Earth system:

  • Changes in surface albedo and atmospheric radiation
  • Direct effect on vegetation
  • Massive global cooling over several years (decades) -> Impact on vegetation e.g tropical rainforest
  • Stratospheric warming
  • Changes in atmospheric circulation (AO) and chemical composition (e.g. ozone depletion)
  • Changes in sea level and ocean heat content
  • Impact on the carbon cycle (e.g. change in NPP, marine bioproductivity)
  • Impact on water cycle (e.g. reduced tropical precipitation)

This project should help to understand the feedback mechanisms of the Earth system.

impact of large tephra deposit on vegetation and climate12
Impact of Large Tephra Deposit on Vegetation and Climate
  • Tephra (Greek: ash): Fragments of rock and magma ejected from volcanic eruptions, ranging in size from <2mm to >1m.
  • Effect of tephra deposits on vegetation and surface:
    • Dying of vegetation
    • Change of surface fluxes (canopy/ground - air)
    • Change of surface albedo
    • Change of surface and soil hydrology
  • These changes will have large and potentially long-lasting impacts on weather, climate and the CO2 cycle on continental and even global scales.
modelling the effects of tephra
Modelling the effects of tephra
  • We use the MPI Earth System Model including ECHAM5 (atmosphere), MPIOM (ocean), HAMOCC (marine biogeoche-mistry) and JSBACH (terrestrial biosphere). CO2 is transported in the atmosphere and exchanged between the atmosphere and the ocean, resp. land. Tephra deposit was implemented in JSBACH similar to the treatment of snow in ECHAM5.2 in terms of depth and cover fraction:
    • Cover fraction is a function of depth and orography
    • Tephra on vegetation: interception, unloading due to wind and rain, throughfall
    • Tephra on ground: decay due to remobilisation and re-distribution (e-folding time of depth is function of orography)
  • Maximum LAI is a simple function of tephra cover fraction, the actual LAI is modelled in the JSBACH phenology module (allowing for dying of vegetation as well as re-growth). Surface albedo depends on the fraction of a grid cell covered with tephra and the albedo of ash (set to 0.35).
distribution of tephra deposit for a yellowstone super eruption
Distribution of Tephra Deposit for a Yellowstone Super-Eruption

Tephra depth after initial deposit

Tephra depth 5 years after eruption

Tephra cover fraction after initial deposit

Tephra cover fraction 5 years after eruption

(R. Schnur et al., MPI-M)

Tephra Depth after initial deposit

Tephra Depth after initial deposit

preliminary results jja
Preliminary Results, JJA

Difference in LAI

Difference in Upward CO2 flux

10-8 kg/m2/s

Difference in Surface Albedo

Differences for JJA taken from three-year averages:

(2-4 years after eruption) – (1-3 years before eruption)

(R. Schnur et al., MPI-M)

atham 2d simulation of a co ignimbrite cloud after 400s maximal height
ATHAM (2D) simulation of a co-ignimbrite cloud after 400s (maximal height)

SO2

Fine ash (r=10mm)

Coarse ash (r=200mm)

Lapilli (r=4mm)

(M. Herzog, GFDL)

atham 2d simulation of a co ignimbrite cloud after 800s
ATHAM (2D) simulation of a co-ignimbrite cloud after 800s

SO2

Fine ash (r=10mm)

Coarse ash (r=200mm)

Lapilli (r=4mm)

(M. Herzog, GFDL)

the coupled middle atmosphere model echam5 47 mpiom
The coupled middle atmosphere model ECHAM5(47)MPIOM
  • Model
    • ECHAM5
        • middle atmosphere configuration MAECHAM5
        • Horizontal resolution: T63 / 1.875° lon x ~1.875° lat
        • Vertical resolution: 47 layers up to 0.01 hPalowermost 26 layers up to 100 hPa identical to L31 identical representation of the troposphere
    • MPIOM
        • 1.5 degree resolution
        • 40 layers
        • Identical to ocean in T63L31 control experiment
  • The experiment has been continued for 162 years in total -» 100 year of stable MAECHAM5/MPIOM climate
coupled echam5mpiom t63l47 t63l31 comparison

ECHAM5/MPIOM-ERA40

MAECHAM5-ECHAM5

MAECHAM5/MPIOM - ERA40

significance

Coupled ECHAM5MPIOM T63L47–T63L31 comparison

Nearly uniform warming in the troposphere (below 200hPa), largest in the tropics (~0.5 K). Above 200 hPa, the difference in temperature is dominated by differences in the mean stratospheric circulation,

Reduction in the coupled model temperature bias in the tropopause region and in the tropical stratosphere and upper troposphere. At the high latitudes the bias has changed sign.

(M. Giorgetta et al., MPI-M)

coupled echam5mpiom t63l47 t63l31 comparison22
Coupled ECHAM5MPIOM T63L47–T63L31 comparison

Basic aspects of climate variability: Robust features, given that the ENSO frequency and strength, NAO variability is unchanged.

However, regional patterns and teleconnection show sensitivity to the atmospheric component. Namely, the cooling in the Arctic and in high latitudes in Europe and Asia and the warming in low latitude Asia and in Africa found for the ENSO teleconnection in T63L47.

next steps for the middle atmosphere esm
Next steps for the middle atmosphere ESM
  • Fine tuning with modified middle atmosphere model (Echam5.4 with significant changes in the SW radiation scheme)
  • Integration of HAMMONIA (middle and upper atm. chemistry, Schmidt et al J. Clim. 2006) and HAMMOZ (tropospheric chemistry coupled to aerosols, Pozzoli et al, in prep.), in the COSMOS ESM.
  • Other modules (simplified chemistry, MECCA, SAM2 ?) should be additional options for a middle atmosphere model with chemistry and aerosols
pinatubo test case deposition of ash
Pinatubo test case: Deposition of ash

Accumulated dry deposition of fine ash [g/m^2]

(U. Niemeyer et al., MPI-M)

temperature anomaly at 50 hpa after mt pinatubo

1991

1992

Temperature anomaly at 50 hPa after Mt. Pinatubo

„Old“ ECHAM5

NCEP Reanalysis

Improved ECHAM5

After improvements in the SW scheme, the lower stratospheric temperature response is around 4K that is 3K less than the simulations with original ECHAM5 and is more realistic.

(M. A.Thomas, MPI–M)

a possible volcanic influence on enso
A possible volcanic influence on ENSO

o

  • During the winters following the three biggest eruptions in the last decades (Agung, 1963; El Chichón, 1982; and Pinatubo,1991) El Niños took place.
  • Paleo reconstrcutions (Adams et al, 2003) seem to indicate that large volcanic eruptions help to drive the ocean and atmosphere towards a state in which El Niño conditions are favored.
  • We have carried out a series of volcanic experiments with the coupled atmosphere ocean circulation model, the ECHAM5/MPIOM.
  • The volcanic radiative forcing is calculated online in the model using a realistic spatial-temporal distribution of aerosol optical parameters derived from satellite observations for the Pinatubo episode.
slide31

Case 1, June

Case 2, June

Case 1, Jan

Case 2, Jan

Nino 3.4 SST anomalies [k]

(super volcano group, MPI-M)

temperature response in the equatorial pacific
Temperature response in the equatorial pacific

199201, 7 months after eruption

Ocean depth (m)

Ocean depth (m)

Temperature differences (K) and respective significances in the equatorial pacific. The grey scale indicates significances of 90, 95, and 99%.

(super volcano group, MPI-M)

conclusions pinatubo enso
Conclusions (Pinatubo-ENSO)
  • Our model results cannot support the hypothesis from Adams et al. (2003) that volcanoes enhance the possibilty of an El Niño event. Our results point in the opposite direction in accordance with new radiocarbon reconstructions (Druffel et al., 2007).
  • Ongoing work !!!!!!
next steps
Next steps
  • Impact on the carbon cycle :
    • volcanic effect on the net CO2 bonding in the terrestrial biosphere)
    • Input on ocean biogeochemsitry e.g. Algal blossom (Coupling with HAMMOC is prepared)
  • Understanding the climate signal of historic eruptions, e.g. 1258, Tambora, less cooling in the temperature proxy as one would expected from the estimated emisssion (together with the MILLENIUM project)
  • Impact on sea level and ocean heat content „Krakatoa lives forever “
  • ......
  • A fully coupled ESM simulation of a volcanic super eruption including interactive volcanic aerosol and chemistry
impact on sea level and ocean heat content karakatoa lives forever
Impact on sea level and ocean heat content „Karakatoa lives forever“
  • There is a clear subsurface response in heat content after the Krakatoa eruption (1883) lasting for several decades in the MPI-M IPCCAR4 runs similar as in a recent paper by Gleckler et al (Nature, 2006).

(F.Landerer, MPI-M)

next steps36
Next steps
  • Impact on the carbon cycle :
    • volcanic effect on the net CO2 bonding in the terrestrial biosphere)
    • Input on ocean biogeochemsitry e.g. Algal blossom (Coupling with HAMMOC is prepared)
  • Understanding the climate signal of historic eruptions, e.g. 1258, Tambora, less cooling in the temperature proxy as one would expected from the estimated emisssion (together with the MILLENIUM project)
  • Impact on sea level and ocean heat content „Krakatoa lives forever “
  • ......
  • A fully coupled ESM simulation of a volcanic super eruption including interactive volcanic aerosol and chemistry
outlook
Outlook
  • The middle atmosphere ESM incl. chemistry and aerosol microphysics which is developed in the frame of the SV project will be a sophisticated tool for studies of super eruption analogues (asteroid impacts, nuclear weapons)
  • Application also for basaltic super eruptions over a long time scales (several 100 years) e.g Deccan traps.
  • ESM model studies for volcanic eruptions are also a pretty good analogue to asses the climatic consequences for surface albedo enhancement experiments with stratospheric aerosol as currently are widely debated.
last but not least
Last but not least
  • The MPI super volcano group is a MPI-M crosscuting project but it is not for MPI-M members only !
  • All interested scientists are welcome to work and collaborate with us
  • Further information:

http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/en/wissenschaft/working-groups/super-volcanoes.html

or contact: claudia.timmreck@zmaw.de