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Perturbations in stratospheric aerosol evolution due to the water-rich plume of the 2022 Hunga-Tonga eruption

Abstract : The January 2022 Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcanic eruption injected a relatively small amount of sulfur dioxide, but significantly more water into the stratosphere than previously seen in the modern satellite record. Here we show that the large amount of water resulted in large perturbations to stratospheric aerosol evolution. Our climate model simulation reproduces the observed enhanced water vapor at pressure levels ~30 hPa for three months. Compared with a simulation without a water injection, this additional source of water vapor increases hydroxide, which halves the sulfur dioxide lifetime. Subsequent coagulation creates larger sulfate particles that double the stratospheric aerosol optical depth. A seasonal forecast of volcanic plume transport in the southern hemisphere indicates this eruption will greatly enhance the aerosol surface area and water vapor near the polar vortex until at least October 2022, suggesting that there will continue to be an impact of this eruption on the climate system.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-03857159
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Submitted on : Thursday, November 17, 2022 - 10:43:33 AM
Last modification on : Friday, November 18, 2022 - 9:27:15 AM

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Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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Yunqian Zhu, Charles G. Bardeen, Simone Tilmes, Michael J. Mills, Xinyue Wang, et al.. Perturbations in stratospheric aerosol evolution due to the water-rich plume of the 2022 Hunga-Tonga eruption. Communications Earth & Environment, 2022, 3, ⟨10.1038/s43247-022-00580-w⟩. ⟨insu-03857159⟩

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