Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Model experiment description paper
09 Jan 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).
The Interactive Stratospheric Aerosol Model Intercomparison Project (ISA-MIP): Motivation and experimental design
Claudia Timmreck1, Graham W. Mann2,3, Valentina Aquila4, Rene Hommel5,a, Lindsay A. Lee2, Anja Schmidt6,7, Christoph Brühl8, Simon Carn9, Mian Chin10, Sandip S. Dhomse2, Thomas Diehl11, Jason M. English12,13, Michael J. Mills14, Ryan Neely2,3, Jianxiong Sheng15,16, Matthew Toohey1,17, and Debra Weisenstein16 1Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
2School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
3UK National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
4American University, Dept. of Environmental Science, Washington, DC, USA
5Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
6Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1EW, UK
7Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Downing Place, Cambridge CB2 3EN, UK
8Max-Planck-Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
9Dept Geo Min Eng Sci MTU, Houghton, MI, USA
10NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
11Directorate for Sustainable Resources, Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Ispra, Italy
12University of Colorado, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences
13NOAA Earth Systems Laboratory, Boulder, CO, USA
14Atmospheric Chemistry Observations and Modeling, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
15ETHZ, Zürich, Switzerland
16John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
17GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany
anow at: Hommel & Graf Environmental, Hamburg, Göttingen, Germany
Abstract. The Stratospheric Sulfur and its Role in Climate (SSiRC) interactive stratospheric aerosol model intercomparison project (ISA-MIP) explores uncertainties in the processes that connect volcanic emission of sulphur gas species and the radiative forcing associated with the resulting enhancement of the stratospheric aerosol layer. The central aim of ISA-MIP is to constrain and improve interactive stratospheric aerosol models and reduce uncertainties in the stratospheric aerosol forcing by comparing results of standardized model experiments with a range of observations. In this paper we present 4 co-ordinated inter-model experiments designed to investigate key processes which influence the formation and temporal development of stratospheric aerosol in different time periods of the observational record. The Background (BG) experiment will focus on microphysics and transport processes under volcanically quiescent conditions, when the stratospheric aerosol is controlled by the transport of aerosols and their precursors from the troposphere to the stratosphere. The Transient Aerosol Record (TAR) experiment will explore the role of small- to moderate-magnitude volcanic eruptions, anthropogenic sulphur emissions and transport processes over the period 1998–2012 and their role in the warming hiatus. Two further experiments will investigate the stratospheric sulphate aerosol evolution after major volcanic eruptions. The Historical Eruptions SO2 Emission Assessment (HErSEA) experiment will focus on the uncertainty in the initial emission of recent large-magnitude volcanic eruptions, while the Pinatubo Emulation in Multiple models (PoEMS) experiment will provide a comprehensive uncertainty analysis of the radiative forcing from the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
Citation: Timmreck, C., Mann, G. W., Aquila, V., Hommel, R., Lee, L. A., Schmidt, A., Brühl, C., Carn, S., Chin, M., Dhomse, S. S., Diehl, T., English, J. M., Mills, M. J., Neely, R., Sheng, J., Toohey, M., and Weisenstein, D.: The Interactive Stratospheric Aerosol Model Intercomparison Project (ISA-MIP): Motivation and experimental design, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss.,, in review, 2018.
Claudia Timmreck et al.
Claudia Timmreck et al.
Claudia Timmreck et al.


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Short summary
The paper describes the experimental design of the interactive stratospheric aerosol model intercomparison project (ISA-MIP). ISA-MIP will improve understanding of stratospheric aerosol processes, chemistry, and dynamics, and constrain climate impacts of background aerosol variability, small and large volcanic eruptions. It will help to asses the stratospheric aerosol contribution to the early 21st century global warming hiatus period and the effects from hypothetical geoengineering schemes.
The paper describes the experimental design of the interactive stratospheric aerosol model...