Winter warming from large volcanic eruptions



An examination of the Northern Hemisphere winter surface temperature patterns after the 12 largest volcanic eruptions from 1883–1992 shows warming over Eurasia and North America and cooling over the Middle East which are significant at the 95% level. This pattern is found in the first winter after tropical eruptions, in the first or second winter after midlatitude eruptions, and in the second winter after high latitude eruptions. The effects are independent of the hemisphere of the volcanoes. An enhanced zonal wind driven by heating of the tropical stratosphere by the volcanic aerosols is responsible for the regions of warming, while the cooling is caused by blocking of incoming sunlight.