Tongan volcano unleashed world’s biggest ash cloud
Remember the huge explosion from the Hunga Tonga undersea volcano in January? NASA scientists have been studying the blast and have concluded that the ash cloud reached 58km into the air, making it the biggest on record. At that height, scientists say volcanic material like rock and sulphur dioxide made it into the 3rd layer of Earth’s atmosphere – the mesosphere. And questions about the release of sulphur dioxide, which can have a cooling effect on the Earth’s atmosphere – early studies show that there wasn’t enough gas released to have an impact. This eruption goes beyond what scientists thought was physically possible and allows new studies on the dynamics of volcanoes and how aerosol particles move through the atmosphere. NASA’s research also shows that the ash cloud covered an incredible 155,000 square km – about the size of 2 Tassies. #SquizShortcut
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