Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2022-16
https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2022-16
 
21 Mar 2022
21 Mar 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal WCD.

Decline of Etesian winds after large volcanic eruptions in the last millennium

Stergios Misios1,2, Ioannis Logothetis3, Mads Faurschou Knudsen2, Christoffer Karoff2, Vassilis Amiridis1, and Kleareti Tourpali3 Stergios Misios et al.
  • 1Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications, and Remote Sensing, National Observatory of Athens, Athens, Greece
  • 2Department of Geoscience, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
  • 3Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

Abstract. Etesian winds represent one of the most stable summer circulation regimes in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) variability and tropical/extra-tropical teleconnections are influencing the Eastern Mediterranean, given that a stronger ISM is often associated with more intense and persistent Etesian winds. The response of Etesian winds to external forcing on interannual and longer time scales, however, is not well understood. Here, for the first time, we investigate responses of Etesian winds to large volcanic eruptions by analysing a blend of model simulations covering the last millennium and reanalysis data over the 20th century. We provide model evidence for significant volcanic signatures, manifested as a robust reduction of the average wind speed in late summer months and the total number of days with Etesian winds. These signatures are attributed to the weakening of the ISM in the post-eruption summer, which reduces large scale subsidence in the Eastern Mediterranean, weakens the Anatolian low, and finally reduces the intensity and persistence of the Etesian winds. We find a stronger sensitivity of Etesian winds to Northern Hemisphere volcanoes, particularly before the 20th century, while for the latest large eruption of Pinatubo, modelled and observed responses are insignificant. Our results could be applied to improve seasonal prediction of wind circulation in the Eastern Mediterranean in the post-eruption summers.

Stergios Misios et al.

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Stergios Misios et al.

Stergios Misios et al.

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Short summary
We investigate responses of Etesian winds, which is one of the most stable summer circulation regimes in the Eastern Mediterranean, to large volcanic eruptions. Using model simulations of the last millennium climate, we find a robust reduction of the average wind speed in late summer months and the total number of days with Etesian winds. These signatures are explained by reductions in the intensity of the Indian Summer Monsoon in the summers following the eruption.