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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Cited articles

Abbott, P. M., Niemeier, U., Timmreck, C., Riede, F., McConnell, J. R., Severi, M., Fischer, H., Svensson, A., Toohey, M., Reinig, F., and Sigl, M.: Volcanic climate forcing preceding the inception of the Younger Dryas: Implications for tracing the Laacher See eruption, Quaternary Sci. Rev., 274, 107260,, 2021. a
Baldini, J. U. L., Brown, J. N., and McElwaine, J. N.: Was millennial scale climate change during the Last Glacial triggered by explosive volcanism?, Sci. Rep., 5, 17442,, 2015. a, b, c
Baldini, J. U. L., Brown, R. J., and Mawdsley, N.: Evaluating the link between the sulfur-rich Laacher See volcanic eruption and the Younger Dryas climate anomaly, Clim. Past, 14, 969–990,, 2018. a
Bay, R. C., Bramall, N., and Buford Price, P.: Bipolar correlation of volcanism with millennial climate change, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 101, 6341–6345, 2004. a, b, c, d
Bay, R. C., Bramall, N., Buford Price, P., Clow, G. D., Hawley, R. L., Udisti, R., and Castellano, E.: Globally synchronous ice core volcanic tracers and abrupt cooling during the last glacial period, J. Geoph. Res., 111, D11108,, 2006. a, b
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.