16 Dec 2021
16 Dec 2021
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Mechanisms of hydrological responses to volcanic eruptions in the Asian monsoon and westerlies-dominated subregions

Zhihong Zhuo1,a, Ingo Kirchner1, and Ulrich Cubasch1 Zhihong Zhuo et al.
  • 1Institute of Meteorology, Freie Universität Berlin, 12165 Berlin, Germany
  • anow at: Section for Meteorology and Oceanography, Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, 0315 Oslo, Norway

Abstract. Explosive volcanic eruptions affect surface climate especially in monsoon regions, but responses vary in different regions and to volcanic aerosol injection (VAI) in different hemispheres. Here we use six ensemble members from last millennium experiment of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5, to investigate the mechanism of regional hydrological responses to different hemispheric VAI in the Asian monsoon region (AMR). It brings a significant drying effect over the AMR after northern hemisphere VAI (NHVAI), spatially, a distinct “wet get drier, dry gets wetter” response pattern emerges with significant drying effect in the wettest area (RWA) but significant wetting effect in the driest area (RDA) of the AMR. After southern hemisphere VAI (SHVAI), it shows a significant wetting effect over the AMR, but spatial response pattern is not that clear due to small aerosol magnitude. The mechanism of the hydrological impact relates to the indirect change of atmospheric circulation due to the direct radiative effect of volcanic aerosols. The decreased thermal contrast between the land and the ocean after NHVAI results in weakened EASM and SASM. This changes the moisture transport and cloud formation in the monsoon and westerlies-dominated subregions. The subsequent radiative effect and physical feedbacks of local clouds lead to different drying and wetting effects in different areas. Results here indicate that future volcanic eruptions may alleviate the uneven distribution of precipitation in the AMR, which should be considered in the near-term decadal prediction and future strategy of local adaptation to global warming. The local hydrological responses and mechanisms found here can also provide reference to stratospheric aerosol engineering.

Zhihong Zhuo et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on cp-2021-182', Fei Liu, 13 Jan 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on cp-2021-182', Anonymous Referee #2, 20 Jan 2022

Zhihong Zhuo et al.

Zhihong Zhuo et al.


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Short summary
It has uneven precipitation distribution in the monsoon and westerlies-dominated subregions of Asia. Using multi model data from PMIP3/CMIP5, we find a “wet gets drier, dry gets wetter” response pattern to northern hemisphere volcanic aerosol injection, which is opposite to that under global warming with increased greenhouse gases. The hydrological impacts relate to the dynamical response of the climate system to radiative effect of volcanic aerosol and the subsequent local physical feedbacks.