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Response of Summer Precipitation over Eastern China to Large Volcanic Eruptions

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  • 1 Key Laboratory of Western China’s Environmental Systems (Ministry of Education), Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, and Laboratory for Climate Studies, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China
  • | 2 Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York
  • | 3 Laboratory for Climate Studies, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China
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Abstract

Studies of the effects of large volcanic eruptions on regional climate so far have focused mostly on temperature responses. Previous studies using proxy data suggested that coherent droughts over eastern China are associated with explosive low-latitude volcanic eruptions. Here, the authors present an investigation of the responses of summer precipitation over eastern China to large volcanic eruptions through analyzing a 1000-yr global climate model simulation driven by natural and anthropogenic forcing. Superposed epoch analyses of 18 cases of large volcanic eruption indicate that summer precipitation over eastern China significantly decreases in the eruption year and the year after. Model simulation suggests that this reduction of summer precipitation over eastern China can be attributed to a weakening of summer monsoon and a decrease of moisture vapor over tropical oceans caused by large volcanic eruptions.

Corresponding author address: Caiming Shen, Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, University at Albany, State University of New York, 251 Fuller Road, Albany, NY 12203. Email: cshen@climate.cestm.albany.edu

Abstract

Studies of the effects of large volcanic eruptions on regional climate so far have focused mostly on temperature responses. Previous studies using proxy data suggested that coherent droughts over eastern China are associated with explosive low-latitude volcanic eruptions. Here, the authors present an investigation of the responses of summer precipitation over eastern China to large volcanic eruptions through analyzing a 1000-yr global climate model simulation driven by natural and anthropogenic forcing. Superposed epoch analyses of 18 cases of large volcanic eruption indicate that summer precipitation over eastern China significantly decreases in the eruption year and the year after. Model simulation suggests that this reduction of summer precipitation over eastern China can be attributed to a weakening of summer monsoon and a decrease of moisture vapor over tropical oceans caused by large volcanic eruptions.

Corresponding author address: Caiming Shen, Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, University at Albany, State University of New York, 251 Fuller Road, Albany, NY 12203. Email: cshen@climate.cestm.albany.edu

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