When a volcano erupts, it does more than just create an ash cloud that darkens and cools a region for a few days. Instead, the most dramatic effect is actually high above us, where spewed volcanic material is not quickly washed out by rain.
If the volcanic eruption is strong enough it will inject material into the stratosphere, more than 10 miles above the Earths surface. Here, tiny particles called aerosols form when the volcanos sulfur dioxide combines with water vapor. Despite their size, these aerosols work to alter interactions between the atmosphere and sun, affecting climate patterns.
Now, new research funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation, focusing on the eruption of Mount Katmai, Alaska, in June 1912, shows that location is also important, as major volcanic eruptions far north of the equator affect the worlds climate much differently than volcanoes in the tropics.
Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
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