SSiRC Home Page

Activity Leaders

Landon Rieger, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SA, Canada
Anja Schmidt, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Oberpfaffenhofen-Wessling, Germany, and Meteorological Institute, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich, Germany
Marc von Hobe, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich, Germany

Scientific Steering Group

Juan Carlos, Antuña-Marrero, Departamento de Física Teórica, Atómica y Óptica, Universidad de Valladolid, España,
Terry Deshler, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA,
Suvarna Fadnavis. Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, India ,
Corinna Kloss, Le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Orléans, France
Mahesh Kovilakam, SSAI, Hampton, VA USA
Eduardo Landulfo, Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares (IPEN), São Paulo, Brazil
Graham Mann, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
Andrew Rollins, NOAA, Boulder, CO USA
Jean-Paul Vernier, National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton VA USA
Yunqian Zhu, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA

About SSiRC

SSiRC is an established SPARC (Stratosphere-Troposphere Processes and their role in Climate) activity, with SPARC being a core project within the World Climate Research Program (WCRP). SSiRC aims to foster collaboration across observational and modelling groups to better understand the stratospheric aerosol layer and the drivers for its observed variations. The abrupt volcanic enhancements of the stratospheric aerosol concentrations cause strong solar dimming and thereby surface cooling with important changes in circulation and atmospheric composition in response. SSiRC key science questions link with several foci of the WCRP grand challenges. The stratospheric aerosol layer was discovered 60 years ago, but it still poses us riddles. Aerosol above 15 km forms an optically thin veil with a small well characterized impact on climate, but then, in explosive episodes, it can intensify dramatically due to massive, aperiodic volcanic eruptions. Following such events, the stratospheric aerosol influences Earth's climate by cooling the planet as a whole and creates potentially devastating changes to regional weather patterns, such as winter warming in the Northern Hemisphere and reducing summer monsoon rainfall over Africa and Asia. It also increases the probability of an El Niño in the following Northern Hemisphere winter. In the modern era, large volcanic events can temporarily slow the pace of anthropogenic global warming. While much is understood about the impact of stratospheric aerosol on climate, there are a number of open questions relevant to SSiRC, SPARC and the WCRP:

By addressing these questions, SSiRC aims at better constraining the pathways of stratospheric aerosol and its precursors from emission to radiative forcing. By raising these questions and highlighting their importance, SSiRC stimulates research in this area, research that is relevant to WCRP's mission. SSiRC enables the assessment of our understanding the role of stratospheric aerosol in climate including the potential for catastrophic climate impacts following a major volcanic event, and decoupling more moderate climate changes in the stratospheric aerosol burden from those attributable to human activities. SSiRC builds a community from different fields of study and fosters collaboration. SSiRC connects to other WCRP/SPARC activities including ACAM, OCTV-UTLS and CCMI.

SSiRC activities

SSiRC is currently supporting a number of endeavors, such as:

SSiRC is linked to: