Tonga Volcanic Eruption Blasted an Enormous Plume of Water Vapor into the Atmosphere

A landmass with white smoke coming out of it
The
Hunga
Tonga-Hunga
Ha’apai
volcano
releases
gas
on
December
24,
2021,
before
the
eruption
on
January
14.

Photo
by
Maxar
via
Getty
Images

The
Hunga
Tonga-Hunga
Ha’apai
(HT-HH) volcano
eruption
in
Tonga
last
January
propelled
a
record-breaking
amount
of
water
vapor
into
the
Earth’s
stratosphere—enough
to
fill
more
than
58,000
Olympic-size
swimming
pools,
according
to
research
from
NASA. 

“We’ve
never
seen
anything
like
it,”
Luis
Millán,
an
atmospheric
scientist
at
NASA’s
Jet
Propulsion
Laboratory
in
Southern
California,
says
in
a

statement
.
“We
had
to
carefully
inspect
all
the
measurements
in
the
plume
to
make
sure
they
were
trustworthy.” 

In
a
paper
published
in


Geophysical
Research
Letters
,
scientists analyzed
data
from
the
Microwave
Limb
Sounder,
an
instrument
that
measures
gasses
like
water
vapor
and
ozone
from
NASA’s
Aura
satellite,
per
the
statement.
They
found
that
the
undersea
volcano’s
plume
reached
altitudes
up
to
about
35
miles,
a
“record
in
the
satellite
era.”
The
plume released
146
teragrams
of
water
vapor
into
the
stratosphere,
which
is
equivalent
to
about
10
percent
of
the
total
water
already
in
that
layer
of
the
atmosphere.

While
previous
volcanic
blasts
have
caused
a
temporary
cooling
effect
on
the
Earth
because
of
ash
and
dust
that
reflect
sunlight
back
into
space,
this
one
will
likely
raise
temperatures
because
of
water
vapor’s
heat-trapping
properties,
per
the
study. 

“This
is
just
a
temporary
warming,
and
then
it
will
go
back
to
whatever
it
was
supposed
to
go
back
to,”
Millán,
the
lead
author
on
the
study,
tells
the


Washington
Post
’s
Kasha
Patel.
“It’s
not
going
to
exacerbate
climate
change.”

The
January eruption
in
Tonga
was
the
world’s
largest
in
the
21st
century,
and
possibly
the
most
powerful
since
Krakatoa
in
1883,
per

CNN
’s
Katie
Hunt.
The
explosion
rained
ash
down
on
Tonga
and
triggered
a
tsunami,
which
damaged
more
than
100
homes
and
killed
three
people. 

Scientists
say
the
explosion
was
more
powerful
than

hundreds
of
atomic
bombs

and
produced
a

shockwave

that
circled
the
Earth
for
days.
The
resulting
water
vapor
may
remain
in
the
atmosphere
for
five
to
10
years,
and
the
warming
effect
will
likely
begin
in
three
years, Millán
tells
the

Post

Artikel ini diambil dari https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/tongas-volcanic-eruption-blasted-an-enormous-plume-of-water-vapor-into-the-atmosphere-180980538/

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