Volcanic eruptions play role in warming hiatus

By on February 26, 2014
Mount St. Helens, Washington University of Colorado study shows influence of volcanoes in climate change (Credit: S.R. Brantley/USGS)

Researchers at MIT say that aerosols from volcanic eruptions may be a factor in the recent global warming hiatus, according to a release. This period, occurring over the last 15 years, has been marked by relatively stable global temperatures.

The team used statistical models to look at the relationship between volcanic aerosols and temperatures. They found a clear correlation indicating that more aerosols in the air lead to increased sunlight reflection away from Earth.

Scientists focused models on recent volcanic eruptions to see if their cooling effects could be distinguished from simple climate variation. They found that they could. Full results of their study are published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Image: Mount St. Helens  (Credit: S.R. Brantley/USGS)

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