S2.13: Interdisciplinary reconstructions of the impact of past volcanic eruptions on climate and society


Celine Vidal

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Karen Holmberg

New York University, New York, NY, United States of America

Thomas Aubry

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Felix Riede

University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark

Volcanic eruptions can affect climate and societies over a range of spatial and temporal scales. Understanding the impact of past eruptions is critical for the assessment and mitigation of future volcanic risk. Reconstructing past eruption impacts requires interdisciplinary approaches at the intersection of geology, history, archaeology, dendrochronology, ice-core and climate science. Combining methods from multiple disciplines provides a more detailed understanding of the number, timing, circumstances, and impact of eruptions. This multidisciplinary approach is critical in regions lacking eruption chronologies, but can also yield important insights even at volcanoes with highly constrained eruption histories. At any volcano, such information is fundamental to appropriately assess its hazards.Given the uncertainties in observations, paleoclimate estimates, and model simulations,this session aims to provide a multidisciplinary interface to discuss director indirect causal relationships between the timing and magnitude of volcanic eruptions and climate variability and societal events. Under the remit of the PAGES (Past Global Changes) Volcanic Impacts on Climate and Society (VICS) Working Group, we invite presentations of state-of-the-art results on volcanic impacts on climate and society, combining methods using ice-core, tree-ring, geological, historical and/or archaeological records. We hope to discover and discuss new results on the history, archaeology and anthropology of direct or indirect climatically mediated consequences on past human societies.This proposal is endorsed by the Volcanic Impact on Climate and Society (VICS) working group from PAGES.Core connection between the proposed session and societal risk mitigation: This session focuses on the reconstruction of the impact of past volcanic eruptions on climate and society using multidisciplinary methods. Major explosive eruptions (>VEI 5) have occurred during the Quaternary on a frequency and magnitude (e.g., Toba super-eruption) far beyond the range of contemporary human experience. Studying the impacts of such eruptions in climate model simulations, as well as examining the fingerprints of such eruptions in geologic deposits (e.g., ice cores) and proxy records (e.g., tree-rings and others) provides valuable insight into the likelihood and consequences of this major geological and climatic hazard.

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