Understanding the potential impacts of sulfate aerosol injections on the climate system


Invited seminar for the Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Earth Science Colloquium. Abstract: Past explosive volcanic eruptions have shown that large SO2 injections in the stratosphere have a temporary cooling effect on our planet’s temperatures. This has led some to propose artificial injections of SO2 to ameliorate some of the effects of climate change, as a supplement to emission reduction. Numerous climate models have analyzed the potential impacts that this would have, finding some broad areas of agreement over the resulting climatic response, but also highlighting large inter-model differences. By looking at current modeling experiments such as multi-model intercomparisons as part of the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP), and some large ensembles produced with the Community Earth System Model, I will provide my insight on how to interpret and communicate current results and uncertainties around this form of climate intervention, and about areas of future model improvements. A link to the event page can be found here.