Articles | Volume 18, issue 9
Research article
 | Highlight paper
02 Sep 2022
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 02 Sep 2022

Ice core evidence for major volcanic eruptions at the onset of Dansgaard–Oeschger warming events

Johannes Lohmann and Anders Svensson


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Latest update: 19 May 2024
Combining a new record of bipolar volcanism from Greenland and Antarctic ice cores with records of abrupt climate change derived from the same ice cores, this study provides the most convincing evidence yet of the influence of large volcanic eruptions on long term climate variability, namely Dansgaard-Oeschger warming events. This should garner significant popular interest.
Short summary
Major volcanic eruptions are known to cause considerable short-term impacts on the global climate. Their influence on long-term climate variability and regime shifts is less well-understood. Here we show that very large, bipolar eruptions occurred more frequently than expected by chance just before abrupt climate change events in the last glacial period (Dansgaard–Oeschger events). Thus, such large eruptions may in some cases act as short-term triggers for abrupt regime shifts of the climate.