Volcanic eruptions can affect the climate and are often followed by significant drops in temperature over large regions of the Earth for several years after the event. These temperature drops can be seen at specific locations such as shown to the right for Philadelphia and New Brunswick during the period 1780 to 1800. But in many cases the temperature decreases are truely global and are reflected in global mean temperature decreases of several degrees.
Photo courtesy of USGS
Variation in annual mean temperature at Philadelphia and New Brunswick during the period 1780-1800.
Is there a relationship between global temperature change and sulfur discharge during volcanic eruptions?
All of the historic eruptions listed above resulted in significant global cooling in the years following the events. Also shown is the estimated sulfur discharge from each eruption. *Logarithm of the sulfur discharge (kg).
In your field notebook make a plot of temperature change versus sulfur discharge for the six eruptions and examine whether there is relationships between these two variables.