2022 Tonga volcanic eruption

In January 2022, the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano in Tonga erup­ted, causing a tsunami and a huge amount of destruction in Tonga. The undersea cable providing telecommunications connections between Tonga and the rest of the world was severed, but when planes were able to make it to Tonga a few days later it became clear that much of the country has been smothered in ash, ruining crops and water supplies, and many buildings have been severely damaged.

The eruption itself was powerful enough to have been heard hundreds of kilometres away in New Zealand.

While volcanic eruptions can cause periods of temporary global cooling, as seen in the volcanic winter of 536 and the Year Without a Summer, it doesn’t seem like the eruption in Tonga has been powerful enough to lead to that. The plume of smoke reached high enough into the atmosphere, but the quantity of sulfur dioxide emitted doesn’t seem to have been enough to trigger the cooling effect.

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