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  • Sajda Jaward

Eco Friday>>>Tonga blast could warm the Earth temporarily

Picture credit: Live Science Website

Environmental issues are currently a major concern for Mother Earth. Our ecology has been deteriorating and being exploited at an alarming rate over the past few decades. Natural disasters like flash floods, earthquakes, blizzards, tsunamis, and cyclones have been striking us more frequently as a result of our actions, which have not been in the best interest of preserving this planet.

According to NBC, an undersea volcano in Tonga erupted, producing a large and strange watery blast in January that scientists are still struggling to fully comprehend. According to a study published on Thursday in the journal Science, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano ejected millions of tons of water vapor into the atmosphere.

The second layer of the atmosphere, above the range where people live and breathe, is called the stratosphere. According to the researchers, the eruption increased the amount of water in the stratosphere by about 5%.

Currently, researchers are attempting to determine how all that water might impact the atmosphere and whether it might cause Earth's surface to warm in the coming years. Lead author Holger Voemel, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, said: "This was a once-in-a-lifetime event."

According to Matthew Toohey, a climate researcher at the University of Saskatchewan said: the majority of volcanoes emit significant amounts of sulfur, which disperses clouds and blocks the sun's rays. The Tongan explosion had far more seawater in it than typical as it was originated under the ocean.

Picture credit: Dhyeya IAS Website

According to Toohey ,the eruption is likely to increase temperatures rather than decrease them, because water vapor functions as a heat-trapping greenhouse gas. It's unknown how much warmth people might experience and this rise might temporarily warm the surface and the water vapor will remain in the upper atmosphere for a number of years before entering the lower atmosphere.

Rosenlof stated that the additional water may also hasten the ozone hole in the atmosphere. Scientists are not certain about this matter, because they've never observed an eruption like this before. Voemel stated that the stratosphere, which extends from roughly 7.5 miles to 31 miles above Earth, is typically relatively dry.

According to Voemel, the amounts of water in the stratosphere are typically so little that these instruments can't even measure them.

Another research team used a NASA satellite's equipment to track the explosion. They predicted the eruption would be even more powerful and produce three times as much water vapor in the stratosphere, as Voemel's study revealed.

In any case, he claimed, the Tongan explosion was unlike anything that had been witnessed recently, and research into its after effects could provide novel information about our environment.

November 5th 2022| 01:00 PM

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