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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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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 (the Dansgaard-Oeschger events). Thus, such large eruptions may in some cases act as short-term triggers to abrupt regime shifts of the climate.
Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2020-160
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2020-160

  23 Dec 2020

23 Dec 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

On the Role of Volcanism in Dansgaard-Oeschger Cycles

Johannes Lohmann and Anders Svensson Johannes Lohmann and Anders Svensson
  • Physics of Ice, Climate and Earth, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract. A significant influence of major volcanic eruptions on regime shifts and long-term climate variability has been suggested previously. But a statistical assessment of this has been hampered by inaccurate synchronization of large volcanic eruptions to changes in past climate. Here, this is achieved by 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. We show that at > 99 % confidence bipolar volcanic eruptions occurred more frequently than expected by chance just before the onset of Dansgaard-Oeschger events, the most prominent large-scale abrupt climate changes of the last glacial period. Out of 20 climate change events in the 12–60 ka period, 5 (7) occur within 20 (50) years after a bipolar eruption. Thus, such large eruptions may act as short-term triggers for large-scale abrupt climate change, and may explain part of the variability of Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles.

Johannes Lohmann and Anders Svensson

 
Status: open (until 17 Feb 2021)
Status: open (until 17 Feb 2021)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Johannes Lohmann and Anders Svensson

Johannes Lohmann and Anders Svensson

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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 (the Dansgaard-Oeschger events). Thus, such large eruptions may in some cases act as short-term triggers to abrupt regime shifts of the climate.
Citation