According to NASA, the volcanic eruption in Tonga, one of the most powerful on the planet, expelled so much water vapor into the atmosphere that it is likely to temporarily warm the Earth’s surface, according to detections by a NASA satellite. POT.
When the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai undersea volcano erupted on January 15, 65 kilometers north of Tonga’s capital, it triggered a tsunami and a sonic boom that circled the globe, twice.
The eruption sent a large plume of water vapor into the stratosphere, which is between 12 and 53 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. It was enough water to fill 58,000 Olympic swimming pools, according to the detections of a NASA satellite.
The detection was made by the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) instrument on NASA’s Aura satellite. The satellite measures water vapor, ozone and other atmospheric gases. After the eruption, scientists were surprised by the water vapor readings.
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They calculate that the eruption contributed 146 teragrams of water to the stratosphere. A teragram is the equivalent of a trillion grams, and in this case, it was equivalent to 10% of the water already present in the stratosphere.
That’s almost four times the amount of water vapor that reached the stratosphere after Mount Pinatubo’s 1991 eruption in the Philippines.