The eruption of the Tonga volcano resulted in the longest ash plume captured by satellite (video)


February 19, 2022 at 08:08 GMT

“The intensity of this event far exceeds that of any storm cloud I have ever studied,” said Christopher Bedka, a NASA atmospheric scientist.

Scientists at NASA’s Langley Research Center recently published a file Transfer In it they confirmed that the ash plume from the eruption of the Hengja Tonga-Hung Hapai volcano, which occurred on January 15 in Tonga, rose 58 kilometers at its highest point and reached the mesosphere, the third layer of the atmosphere. In this way, it became the longest volcanic plume captured by satellites.

The researchers analyzed data from the Operational Satellite 17 (GOES-17) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Himawari-8, which is in geostationary orbit and “was in a unique position” to monitor the eruption. The volcano.

“The intensity of this event far exceeds any storm cloud I have ever studied,” said Christopher Bedka, a NASA atmospheric scientist who specializes in studying severe storms. “We are fortunate that our last generation of geostationary satellites has seen them well and can use this data in innovative ways to document their development,” he added.

They noted from the space agency that before the Tonga eruption, the largest known volcanic plume in the “satellite age” came from Mount Pinatubo, which spewed ash and gas up to 35 kilometers over the Philippines in 1991.

“When volcanic material reaches a very high level in the stratosphere, where the winds are not very strong, volcanic ash, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide and water vapor can be transported all over the Earth,” explained Konstantin Khlobinkov, a NASA Langley team scientist.

See also  WhatsApp and more privacy: it will hide the phone number in the chat

In fact, in just two weeks, the main plume of volcanic material expelled by Tonga has traveled around the world, according to satellite data.

For his part, Ghassan Taha, a researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, noted that plume aerosols persisted in the stratosphere for more than a month and could remain there for a year or more.

While volcanic emissions can affect the local and global climate, Taha noted that it was currently unlikely that the Tonga volcano plume would have significant climatic impacts because it was low in sulfur dioxide, the gas that causes the so-called “volcanic winter”.

Lovell Loxley

"Alcohol buff. Troublemaker. Introvert. Student. Social media lover. Web ninja. Bacon fan. Reader."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top