PDF Stratospheric Aerosols

Stratospheric Aerosol Optical Thickness

Also available in PDF.

Since Pinatubo there have been no major volcanic eruptions, but in the past decade the series of minor eruptions have been increasing the aerosol level. Also available in PDF


Data are through December 2012. Also available in PDF.

Data source: Updates of M. Sato, J.E. Hansen, M.P. McCormick and J.B. Pollack (1993) "Stratospheric Aerosol Optocal Depth, 1850-1990", JGR, 98, 22,987-22,994.

We thank Dr. Adam Bourassa of University of Saskatchewan and Dr. Alan Robock of Rutgers Univeristy for providing 2002-2012 data.
A.E. Bourassa, A. Robock, et al. (2012) "Large Volcanic Aerosol Load Linked to Asian Monsoon Transport", Science, 337, 78-81.

Other references:
A. Robock (2000) "Volcanic Eruptions and Climate", Rev. Geophys. 38, 191-219.
J.-P. Vernier, L.W. Thomason, et al. (2011) "Major influence of tropical volcanic eruptions on the stratospheric aerosol layer during the last decade", GRL. 38, L12807.
D.A. Ridley, S. Solomon, et al. (2014) "Total volcanic stratospheric aerosol optical depths and implications for global climate change", GRL, 41.

The relation between the optical thickness and the forcings are roughly.

Source: J. Hansen, et al. (2005), "Efficacy of climate forcings", JGR, 110, D1104.

See a NASA/GISS page for more information.

(Last modified: 2013/03/26)