Narrator: This is Science Today. Using a dozen state-of-the-art climate models, researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory found that the ocean warming and sea level rise in the 20 th century were substantially reduced by the 1883 eruption of the Krakatoa volcano in Indonesia . Atmospheric scientist, Peter Gleckler, says volcanic aerosols blocked sunlight, which caused the ocean surface to cool.
Gleckler: When we looked at Krakatoa, we found that the sea level did drop as a result of the eruption, but that drop in sea level didn't go away – it stayed for decades.
Narrator: The researchers compared this to the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines , which was comparable to Krakatoa in terms of size and intensity, but the heat content recovery occurred much more quickly. The models indicate that global warming effects taking place during this time erased the effect of Pinatubo to some extent.
Gleckler: We're working hard to really understand these results, what the models are telling us. In a sense, it opened up many more questions than we started with.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.