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.
How to cite. Lohmann, J. and Svensson, A.: On the Role of Volcanism in Dansgaard-Oeschger Cycles, Clim. Past Discuss. [preprint], https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2020-160, 2020.
Received: 10 Dec 2020 – Discussion started: 23 Dec 2020
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.
Major volcanic eruptions are known to cause considerable short-term impacts on the global...