LARGE VOLCANIC ERUPTION…VEI=5 …ASH UP TO 20,000 METERS…POSSIBLE CLIMATIC IMPLICATIONS

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The Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano, southeast of Fiji, erupted in spectacular fashion, unleashing tsunamis, shock waves and sending a plume of ash and gas up to 20,000 meters into the atmosphere.

It’s likely to be the largest eruption on the planet in 30 years. 

The volcano sits on an uninhabited island about 65 kilometers north of the Tongan capital, Nuku’alofa.

Already preliminary estimates rate the eruption to have a VEI = 5, putting it on par with Vesuvius (79 A.D.) or Mt. St. Helens (1980), but smaller than Pinatubo (1991).

May cool the atmosphere 

Satellite images show a plume of ash, steam and gases with a diameter of 5 km rising 20,000 meters into the air, meaning there will be some climatic impact, at least in the southern hemisphere over the first half of 2022.

Sulfur dioxide emitted by eruptions reacts with water to form droplets of sulfuric acid, which then condense to form sulfate aerosols. These aerosols reflect sunlight away from Earth’s surface and act to cool the Earth’s lower atmosphere.

A volcanic explosivity index (VEI) of 5 means over 1 cubic kilometer of ash and material gets thrown into the atmosphere, and the amount reaching the stratosphere is considered as “significant”. An eruption gets a VEI rating of “6” when more than 10 cubic kilometers gets injected into the atmosphere, as was the case with Pinatubo.

The BBC reports the eruption reportedly could be heard as far as New Zealand, 2,300 km away, and heard as “loud thunder sounds” at Fiji more than 800 km away.




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9 responses to “LARGE VOLCANIC ERUPTION…VEI=5 …ASH UP TO 20,000 METERS…POSSIBLE CLIMATIC IMPLICATIONS”

  1. LARGE VOLCANIC ERUPTION…VEI=5 …ASH UP TO 20,000 METERS…POSSIBLE CLIMATIC IMPLICATIONS – Climate- Science.press

    […] LARGE VOLCANIC ERUPTION…VEI=5 …ASH UP TO 20,000 METERS…POSSIBLE CLIMATIC IMPLICATI… […]

  2. mwhite

    “First there is the troposphere, which contains the bulk of its mass. Near the poles, it starts at the surface and expands more than 30,000 ft (9 km) high—or 56,000 ft (17 km) at the equator. From there, we have the stratosphere. It begins where the troposphere ends, then 31 miles (50 km) above that.”

    In the stratosphere then.

    https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=185.17,-19.63,563

    Around 130hpa I think.

  3. Mikofox

    Believe it or not, the thundering sounds were heard in the Yukon.
    It sounded like artillery in Alaska. On a few, our windows were shaking.
    I’d like to see a graphic of the sound waves spreading from this event.

  4. Alex

    Do SO2 aerosols seed clouds, which in turn amplify the reflectivity of solar radiation back to space, cooling the planet even more? Or am I wrong?

  5. RoHa

    It all because of the unvaccinated causing Global Warming!

  6. Les Francis
  7. drumphish

    Bill Gates doesn’t have to bother spending a bunch of money trying to cool the earth with aerosols and whatever, volcanoes do it better. Tsunamis to boot, Bill can’t do that.

    Mother Nature can make fools of humans and does a darn good job.

  8. John Hultquist

    My money is on a minor effect for the next 4 months, and then hardly noticeable.
    (Based on posts by Willis Eschenbach on WUWT over the last 8 years.)

  9. that USA girl

    And just as we’re going into the maunder minimum.
    Get ready for global cooling. Global warming was way funner.

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