AOS Applications Seminar: Monitoring of Volcanic Eruptions, Pyrocumulonimbus (PyroCb), and Ensuing Impacts on the UTLS Worldwide

 October 27, 2022
 AOS Applications Seminar
The stratospheric volcanic eruption creates both local hazards and climate-perturbation potential. The young volcanic cloud (VC) is inherently extreme and peculiar in its form and composition, which hampers accurate characterization; most individual satellite remote sensing (SRS) instruments are not designed for such extreme atmospheric conditions. The aged VC may be so tenuous as to be nearly undetectable by certain SRS techniques. A basic understanding of the evolving VC lies in combining observations from different sensors that together can fully capture the physical features- height and concentration of ash, sulfur, or ice. NRL's research thrust is to optimally combine measurements of volcanic events to better understand how the VC adversely affects individual SRS and impacts the earth/atmosphere system. Pyrocumulonimbus (pyroCb) are fire-induced and smoke-infused thunderstorms that serve as the primary pathway for smoke to reach the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS). The magnitude of smoke plumes observed in the UTLS has increased significantly in recent years, rivaling or exceeding the impact from all volcanic eruptions observed over the last decade, with the potential for significant climate feedbacks on seasonal and hemispheric scales. We summarize what the community has learned from these extreme events and identify science questions that remain unanswered. Emphasis is placed on NASA satellite observations that serve a critical role in this rapidly growing and interdisciplinary research community.
Meeting Summary