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Identifying volcanic signals in Irish temperature observations since AD 1800

Stephen D. Galvin, Kieran R. Hickey, Aaron P. Potito


Large volcanic eruptions have been shown to affect temperature patterns to varying degrees on continental, hemispheric or global scales. However, few studies have systematically explored the influence of volcanic eruptions on temperatures at a local, Irish level. The focus of this paper is to determine the impacts of five high-magnitude low-latitude volcanic eruptions and one such Icelandic event on Irish climate over the past _200 years. Daily temperature data from the Armagh Observatory, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland was used to assess the influence of volcanic eruptions on seasonal and yearly values through time. The paper explores volcanically-induced temperature trends by filtering out the influence of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and solar variability, and goes on to employ a variation of Superposed Epoch Analysis to identify which seasons and years are most significantly affected by large volcanic eruptions. Armagh temperatures proved particularly responsive in the spring, with a significant decrease in values in the four years following an eruption. Winter temperatures also exhibited a volcanic influence, with a small initial increase in the year of and year following an eruption, and a significant decrease in residual temperature in years two and three after the event.

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