The incredible power of a volcanic eruption on the atmosphere

Since the starting of the 12 months, the Earth’s atmosphere has extra water vapor than standard.

On January 15, 2022, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai underwater volcano erupted close to the Pacific island of Tonga, inflicting a tsunami and tidal waves that unfold round the world twice.

This explosion was thought of one of the strongest miracles ever recorded on earth. Now, a staff of scientists has discovered that the results went past lava, ash and eruptions.

A research by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the American house company, in California (USA), printed in the newest situation of Geophysical Research Letters, reveals that the volcano launched a great amount of water vapor into the atmosphere.

The quantity was so giant that scientists concern it is going to heat the earth greater than anticipated – though the impact is short-lived.

“These eruptions can have an effect on the local weather … by way of warming the floor, resulting from the radioactive impact of additional stratospheric water,” in accordance with the research.

This article explains that that is fascinating as a result of giant volcanic eruptions have a tendency to chill the Earth’s local weather resulting from the ash clouds that cowl the Sun. It is the so-called “mountain winter” – an instance occurred after the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia (1815), which triggered a “12 months with out a summer season” in 1816.

The quantity of water

The research reveals that the quantity of sulfur and different substances launched by Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai was small in comparison with the quantity of water.

Scientists consider that the eruption threw 146 teragrams (146 million tons) of water into the stratosphere, between 12 and 53 km above the earth.

To offer you an concept, the quantity of water vapor launched could be sufficient to fill 58,000 Olympic swimming swimming pools – equal, in accordance with analysis, to 10% of the water that was beforehand in the stratosphere.

“This is no surprise, as a result of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai caldera was 150 meters beneath sea degree. The highly effective eruption launched water vapor at a distance of 53 kilometers,” in accordance with the research.

The violence of the explosion

1 – The magma rises very excessive

2 – The contact of high-pressure magma with chilly water creates “oil-freeze contact”

3 – Pieces of magma and fragments are uncovered to extra sea water

4 – Chain response and huge chemical explosion

5 – Particles are shot with hypersonic pace

Records present that that is the largest quantity of water that has been launched into the stratosphere “by a volcano or by another means” since the starting of the “satellite tv for pc Age”.

That’s as a result of the detection was made by an instrument known as the Microwave Limb Sounder, which is aboard NASA’s Aura satellite tv for pc. The satellite tv for pc measures water vapor, ozone and different atmospheric gases.

“We have by no means seen something like this. We needed to rigorously examine all the measurements to verify they’re dependable,” research creator Luis Millán, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, mentioned in a assertion.


The research predicts that this quantity of water vapor might heat the Earth, as a result of one of its features is to soak up warmth from the Sun.

The researchers consider that extra water vapor can stay in the stratosphere for a number of years, creating circumstances that weaken the ozone layer that protects the Earth.

But he factors out that this can be small and short-lived, disappearing as extra steam is decreased.

Therefore, it’s not believed to be sufficient to extend local weather change resulting from human actions, which all of us expertise.

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