How do Volcanoes Affect the Climate?

How do Volcanoes Affect the Climate?

Scientists at seven different research institutions in Germany will deal with the influence of volcanic eruptions on the atmosphere and climate. At the beginning of December 2018, the Main Committee of the German Research Foundation (DFG) decided to fund the research group VolImpact (Revisiting the volcanic impact on atmosphere and climate – preparations for the next big volcanic eruption). The DFG research group is coordinated by the Institute of Physics of the University of Greifswald. Leipzig University is also involved.

Volcanic eruptions are one of the most important natural causes of climate change. Although atmospheric research has focused on the effects of volcanic eruptions for more than three decades, many fundamental processes are poorly understood. The main goal of the DFG research group VolImpact is to significantly improve the scientific understanding of the response of the climate system to volcanic eruptions. The aim is to carry out satellite-based measurements of corresponding atmospheric parameters and to use these data to comprehensively model the physical and chemical processes.

The DFG research group consists of five scientific subprojects dealing with the evolution of the volcanic cloud, the radiative forcing by volcanic aerosols, the aerosol–cloud interaction and the effects of volcanic aerosols on the dynamics of the atmosphere and the hydrological cycle of the ground-level atmosphere. The project at the Institute for Meteorology at Leipzig University will investigate how the particles spit out by volcanoes change clouds. On the one hand, this can be a leverage effect that enhances the impact of a volcanic eruption on the climate. On the other hand, one can use the observations after volcanic eruptions to better understand the complex relationships between particles, clouds and climate.

Researchers from the universities of Bremen, Greifswald, Hamburg and Leipzig as well as the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg and the GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research in Kiel are involved in the research group. Spokesman of the research group is Prof. Dr. Christian von Savigny from the Institute of Physics of the University of Greifswald. In the first three years, more than 2.3 million euros are available for the research project.

Translated from the Press Release of Leipzig University

Further Information:
Prof. Dr. Christian von Savigny
University of Greifswald
Tel.: +49 (0) 3834 420 4720

Prof. Dr. Johannes Quaas
Institute for Meteorology
Tel.: +49 (0) 341 97-32 931
Email | Website

last modified: 21.03.2019

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