Technology

What we know about the Tonga volcano

When the Hunga volcano in the Pacific island nation of Tonga erupted with a massive explosion on Saturday, climate scientists took notice. Eruptions release sulfur dioxide gas, and if this gas is ejected high enough into the atmosphere, it could have a cooling effect on the Earth.

But eruptions large enough to do so are rare. The last time was at Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, which pumped about 20 million tons of gas into the air when it erupted in 1991. That led to a global cooling of about 1 degree Fahrenheit, or half a degree Celsius, in the near term. two years. .

If the eruption of Mount Hunga were like Pinatubo, climate scientists would have to do a lot of research into the natural effects on climate. NASA has even developed a rapid response program to quickly deploy instruments filled with balloons to collect data after such a large eruption.

From satellite images of the Hunga eruption, it seems likely that this could be another Pinatubo-like event. But looks turned out to be deceiving. Satellite sensors measure a relatively small amount of sulfur dioxide, about 2% of Pinatubo’s output. Not enough to provide a temporary respite from the unshakable march of global warming.

From a climatic point of view, Hungary is quite ordinary. But it’s extraordinary in other ways, like I wrote this week in an article about the eruption. The explosion created the largest pressure wave some scientists have ever seen, and the tsunami was generated not only at the source of the explosion but around the world. Hunga may leave climate scientists with little to say, but other researchers will discuss and study this eruption for a long time.

Can quote: “It’s not that we don’t know about volcanic explosions and tsunamis,” said Lori Dengler, a geophysicist. “But to see it with the state-of-the-art instrumentation we have is unprecedented.”


An archive of more than 5,500 black-and-white photographs from 1930s mapping expeditions is helping scientists study the future of the Svalbard Islands, an arctic archipelago where warming is rapid is melting glaciers at an alarming rate.

By using aerial images to build three-dimensional digital models of every nook and cranny of glaciers from eight decades ago, researchers can make better predictions about the rate of disappearance. of ice due to climate change in the 21st century.

Methods used to generate large-scale computer reconstructions, that I wrote about this weekcan also be used with archival images of glaciers in other regions of the world to unlock insights there.

Numbers: Over the past three decades, Svalbard has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the Arctic region and seven times the global average.


The first nationwide study of rising temperatures and younger Americans has found that hotter days are linked to more emergency room visits.

That might not seem remarkable when it comes to conditions like heat stroke, but some of the findings have surprised researchers. For example, the increased risk for children of blood and immune system diseases during periods of heat is not easy to explain and has not been seen in studies of adults.

The study adds to growing evidence of the dangers heat waves pose to vulnerable populations, including children and adolescents. You can Get details in my post this week.

Can quote: Dr Aaron Bernstein, a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, said: “We’ve had trouble in the past when we thought that children were young people.

Why is it important: With climate change, heat waves and rising temperatures are becoming more and more frequent.


The company has big plans to go green with its delivery fleet. But very few vehicles were produced right away.

At the most basic level, odor is no different from the concentration of chemicals in the air. However, it seems to possess a remarkable power: It can affect our health, trigger old memories, bring joy or wreak havoc. Often, it may seem impossible to describe or convey to others.

That’s why for the past 50 years, Chuck McGinley, a chemical engineer and odor expert, has been determined to give people the nose confidence they already have in their eyes and ears.

For several days in August, Mr. McGinley and his son, Mike, gave me a tour of their lab. It’s a real wonderland of smells: A repurposed bank vault holds the foulest compounds like skunk and indole (also known as “the smell of death”), urine samples and cat poop stacked on shelves in the office freezer and towels impregnated with Mike’s proprietary “mold smell” recipe stacked near a washing machine.

But the tools Mr. McGinley invented and refined may be his greatest contribution to our understanding of smell. Tools like his Nasal Ranger, a Dr. Seussian device that can help people quantify his smell and smell wheel, give users the vocabulary to more clearly communicate what they are is feeling. With this, McGinley tried to give people a rich new language for what they smell, and challenged a long-standing myth that smells cannot be measured.

You can read or listen my post is here. And have More pictures and facts about smells here.


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https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/19/climate/tonga-volcano-tsunami.html What we know about the Tonga volcano

Fry Electronics Team

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