The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption in January 2022 was one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in recorded history. Detonating underwater with the force of 100 Hiroshima bombs, the blast sent millions of tons of water vapor high into the atmosphere.
Some commentators have speculated in recent weeks that the volcano is to blame for searing summer temperatures and are even using the volcano to cast doubt on the role humans are playing in climate change, as reported by The Hill.
So is the gigantic eruption responsible for this summer’s sweltering conditions?
“The short answer is no,” Gloria Manney, a senior research scientist at NorthWest Research Associates and New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and Luis Millán, a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told Live Science together in an email.
“Even though El Niño has made the global temperature higher and the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption might have affected some regions for a short time, the main culprit is climate change,” they said.
And numerous studies show that the massive eruption isn’t causing this climate change — human activites such as the burning of fossil fuels are the driving factor. [Continue reading…]