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A. Past Volcano Eruptions Slowed Down Ocean Warming

Narrator: This is Science Today. By analyzing climate model simulations spanning over a hundred years, researchers have found that volcanoes have helped slow down ocean warming trends. Atmospheric scientist Peter Gleckler of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory explains.

Gleckler: After an eruption, the earth can be blanketed with a dust cloud from the ash and other particles resulting from the eruption. And that blocks the sunlight that reaches the ocean surface and as a result, the ocean surface cools. It's not just the surface, but it's some depth.

Narrator: Gleckler and his colleagues studied sophisticated climate models that included two volcanic eruptions one in Indonesia in 1883 and another in the Philippines in 1991.

Narrator: It's quite an interesting science in that we have these tools, which we are forced to rely upon because we don't have a separate planet that we can go on and do different experiments with. It's not like medicine, where we've got all kinds of diagnostics and we really have to rely on these models.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.