The impact of volcanic forcing on tropical temperatures during the past four centuries

Publication Type  Journal Article
Year of Publication  2009
Authors  D'Arrigo, R.; Wilson, R.; Tudhope, A.
Journal Title  Nature Geoscience
Volume  2
Issue  1
Pages  51-56
Journal Date  Jan
ISBN Number  1752-0894
Accession Number  ISI:000262638500021
Key Words  tree-rings; marine air-temperature; ice core evidence; climate-change; northern-hemisphere; eruptions; rings

Palaeoclimate records have demonstrated links between high-latitude climate changes and tropical as well as high-latitude volcanic activity(1-5). However, little is known about the impact of high-or low-latitude volcanic eruptions on tropical climate, particularly for the period preceding the instrumental record(6-9). Here we use annually resolved temperature-related records from corals, tree rings and ice cores to investigate the relationship between volcanism and low-latitude climate. Over the past 450 years, we find an association between low-latitude volcanic events and lower sea surface temperatures in the tropical oceans. The longest sustained cold period in recent centuries occurred in the early nineteenth century, following the eruption of Tambora and a second, unidentified but presumably tropical(1), volcano. We therefore conclude that the tropical ocean-atmosphere system has been sensitive to changes in radiative forcing caused by tropical volcanism over the past several centuries.


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URL  <Go to ISI>://000262638500021
DOI  Doi 10.1038/Ngeo393