The climate impact of the Young Toba Tuff eruption: An Earth System model approach.

Timmreck, Claudia (2012) The climate impact of the Young Toba Tuff eruption: An Earth System model approach. [Talk] In: The Lübeck Retreat, Collaborative Research SFB 574 Volatiles and Fluids in Subduction Zones: Climate Feedback and Trigger Mechanisms for Natural Disasters. , 23.-25.05.2012, Lübeck . The Lübeck Retreat: final colloquium of SFB 574; May 23-25, 2012: program & abstracts. ; pp. 32-33 .

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Climatic impacts of the Younger Toba Tuff (YTT) eruption about 73 ka yr ago are a crucial argument
in the current discussion about the fate of modern humans especially in Africa and Asia. We use
Earth system model (ESM) simulations to investigate the climate impacts of the YTT eruption focusing in particular on those areas which were relevant to human evolutionary issues during that time.
Information about transient changes in vegetation types after the eruption are obtained by forcing an
offline dynamical global vegetation model with simulated climate anomalies from the ESM under both
glacial and interglacial background climate conditions. The simulated temperature changes in those
areas that were inhabited by humans at the time of eruption suggest thermal discomfort, but not a real
challenge. Precipitation is reduced in all regions during the first two years but recovers quickly
thereafter. Some catchments (Ganges/Brahmaputra, Nile), experienced an over-compensation in
precipitation during the third to fifth post-eruption years which is also reflected in anomalously strong
river runoffs. Change in vegetation composition may have created the biggest pressure on humans,
who had to adapt to more open space with fewer trees and more grasses for some decades,
especially in the African regions. The strongest environmental impacts of the YTT eruption are
simulated under interglacial conditions suggesting that the climate effects of this eruption did not
impact humans on a major scale and for a period long enough to have dramatic consequences for
their survival.

Document Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Talk)
Keywords: Geodynamics
Research affiliation: OceanRep > SFB 574 > C5
OceanRep > SFB 574
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Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2012 10:39
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2012 10:39

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