In order to investigate the effects that volcanic super eruptions have on the climate system, scientists at MPI-M worked jointly with experts of the University of Cambridge on the development of a specialised earth system model which allows for the simulation of such events.


The yellowstone supervolcano eruption 640 000 years ago had covered large parts of North America with more than 10 cm of volcanic ash. No doubt this was an event with large impacts on the climate system. The animation shows the simulated development of the ash cloud for one month. The ash deposition (the accumulated ash on the ground) is shown in brownish colors.

Simulation: Claudia Timmreck, Ulrike Niemeier (MPI-M); Visualization: Michael Böttinger, DKRZ