For example, after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 according to this paper,
The introduction of large amounts of sulphuric acid aerosol into the stratosphere increases the planetary albedo (essentially the Earth's reflectivity of solar radiation) because these aerosol particles are efficient scatterers but only weak absorbers at solar wavelengths.
The changes in the Earth's albedo observed by ERBE resulted in a net cooling of approximately 8 W m-2 between 5°S and 5o N, with a net cooling of 4.3 W m-2 between 40° S and 40° N.
What I'm interested in is how exactly this cooling happens. Which is correct:
the atmosphere is experiencing a deficit of input energy, or
the surface is experiencing a deficit of input energy, which is then communicated to the atmosphere by a decreases longwave surface emission
I suspect (2) is mostly correct, since about 75% of input shortwave solar radiation to the earth is absorbed by the surface, while only 25% by the atmosphere itself, according to ref  (and perhaps even less so by volcanic aerosols).
If this is correct, then once the surface does communicate that energy deficit to the atmosphere, will it happen locally? That is, will a slab of the atmosphere nearest the surface be the first to experience a cooling rate?
 Petty, G.W., 2006. A first course in atmospheric radiation, 2nd ed. ed. Madison, Wis: Sundog Pub.