Extended observations of volcanic SO2 and sulfate aerosol in the stratosphere

S.A. Carn, N.A. Krotkov, Kai Yang, R.M. Hoff, A.J. Prata, A.J. Krueger, S.C. Loughlin, P.F. Levelt

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Sulfate aerosol produced after injection of sulfur dioxide (SO2) into the stratosphere by volcanic eruptions can trigger climate change. We present new satellite data from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) and Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) missions that reveal the composition, structure and longevity of a stratospheric SO2 cloud and derived sulfate layer following a modest eruption (0.2 Tg total S02) of Soufriere Hills volcano, Montserrat on 20 May 2006. The SO2 cloud alone was tracked for over 3 weeks and a distance of over 20 000 km; unprecedented for an eruption of this size. Derived sulfate aerosol at an altitude of ~20 km had circled the globe by 22 June and remained visible in CALIPSO data until at least 6 July. These synergistic NASA A-Train observations permit a new appreciation of the potential effects of frequent, small-to-moderate volcanic eruptions on stratospheric composition and climate. U7 - Export Date: 2 August 2010 U7 - Source: Scopus
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2857-2871
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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