Climatic Impacts of Submarine Volcanic Eruption El Hierro

Climatic impacts of the October 2011 to March 2012 El Hierro submarine volcanic eruption El Hierro

By Professor Wyss Yim. First published in Imperial ENGINEER, Autumn 2013

Ocean has three main climatic impacts. First, the hot and low density seawater immediately beneath the surface speeded up the tropical Atlantic currents, rushing the tropical waters northwards. Second, the hot seawater warmed the atmosphere above causing a fall in air pressure to generate depressions. Th ird, the polar jet stream was drawn further south than normal in the North Atlantic Ocean. Consequently both the ‘normal’ oceanic circulation and atmospheric circulation were drastically altered. Th e combination eff ect is an extremely negative NAO including the development of a ‘Greenland block’.

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