Tambora 1815 as a test case for high impact volcanic eruptions: Earth system effects

Raible, Christoph C.; Brönnimann, Stefan; Auchmann, Renate; Brohan, Philip; Frölicher, Thomas L.; Graf, Hans-F.; Jones, Phil; Luterbacher, Jürg; Muthers, Stefan; Neukom, Raphael; Robock, Alan; Self, Stephen; Sudrajat, Adjat; Timmreck, Claudia; Wegmann, Martin (2016). Tambora 1815 as a test case for high impact volcanic eruptions: Earth system effects. Wiley interdisciplinary reviews - climate change, 7(4), pp. 569-589. Wiley 10.1002/wcc.407

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The eruption of Tambora (Indonesia) in April 1815 had substantial effects on global climate and led to the ‘Year Without a Summer’ of 1816 in Europe and North America. Although a tragic event — tens of thousands of people lost their lives — the eruption also was an ‘experiment of nature’ from which science has learned until today. The aim of this study is to summarize our current understanding of the Tambora eruption and its effects on climate as expressed in early instrumental observations, climate proxies and geological evidence, climate reconstructions, and model simulations. Progress has been made with respect to our understanding of the eruption process and estimated amount of SO2 injected into the atmosphere, although large uncertainties still exist with respect to altitude and hemispheric distribution of Tambora aerosols. With respect to climate effects, the global and Northern Hemispheric cooling are well constrained by proxies whereas there is no strong signal in Southern Hemisphere proxies. Newly recovered early instrumental information for Western Europe and parts of North America, regions with particularly strong climate effects, allow Tambora’s effect on the weather systems to be addressed. Climate models respond to prescribed Tambora-like forcing with a strengthening of the wintertime stratospheric polar vortex, global cooling and a slowdown of the water cycle, weakening of the summer monsoon circulations, a strengthening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, and a decrease of atmospheric CO₂. Combining observations, climate proxies, and model simulations for the case of Tambora, a better understanding of climate processes has emerged.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Paleolimnology
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Climatology
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Raible, Christoph; Brönnimann, Stefan; Auchmann, Renate; Muthers, Stefan; Neukom, Raphael and Wegmann, Martin

Subjects:

900 History > 910 Geography & travel
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
500 Science > 530 Physics

ISSN:

1757-7780

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Doris Rätz

Date Deposited:

08 Jul 2016 16:07

Last Modified:

30 Aug 2016 17:02

Publisher DOI:

10.1002/wcc.407

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.83823

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/83823

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