Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai 2022 Volcano Eruption

On January 15th 2022, an underwater volcano erupted in the South Pacific Ocean blasting steam, ash, and sulfur dioxide to record heights.  The explosive eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai created a sonic boom heard as far north as Alaska. It also triggered a tsunami that destroyed homes on nearby islands before crossing the ocean to the coasts of Japan and North and South America.   The Hunga-Tonga eruption was so powerful that it sent a rare pressure wave rippling around the world.  

NOAA’s GOES-17 and Japan’s Himiwari-8 geostationary satellites were perfectly positioned to observe and document the historic event.   A team of scientists used the satellite data to determine that the volcanic plume soared through the troposphere and stratosphere into the mesosphere to a height of 36 miles, or 58 kilometers high. That’s two and a half times higher than any thunderstorm ever observed.   Even satellites in the ionosphere – which borders on the edge of space – detected unusual electric currents and hurricane-speed winds associated with this intense volcanic event.

The atmospheric pressure wave generated by the Hunga-Tonga eruption circled Earth for several days. This model animation shows the shock wave pattern as it propagated around the planet. 

Satellite sensors detected the travelling pressure wave via temperature changes in mid-level atmospheric water vapor imagery, seen in this animation that stitches data together from multiple geostationary satellites.

The reverberating shock waves were unlike anything seen in the modern satellite era. They spread outward in concentric rings from the South Pacific volcano and crisscrossed the globe multiple times.

Pressure sensors on the ground also captured the passage of the wave. Similar to satellites, surface observing systems measured changes in pressure for several days as successive waves rippled and crossed in their journey around the planet.   

From below the surface of the sea to the edge of space and every layer of the atmosphere in-between; the vast amounts of data collected from the 2022 Hunga-Tonga volcano eruption ensure that scientists will be studying this historic event for years to come.

How to Use in Presentation
This video provides the foundation for any Earth orientated Science On a Sphere presentation on volcanoes and satellites, or may be used as a stand-alone in automated SOS programming.

Length of dataset: 2:50 minutes

If the mp4 movie isn’t in you SOS EarthNow category, you can download the SOS movie from https://bin.ssec.wisc.edu/pub/earthnow/2022_tonga/

Science On a Sphere Dataset Link: https://sos.noaa.gov/catalog/datasets/hunga-tonga-hunga-ha-apai-2022-volcano-eruption/

CREDIT:

This video was a collaborative effort between NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS), the Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) and NOAA’s Advanced Satellite Product Branch (ASPB) co-located at the at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with support from the GOES-R Program.

REFERENCES:

https://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/satellite-blog/archives/44252

https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/149474/tonga-volcano-plume-reached-the-mesosphere

https://www.eumetsat.int/hunga-tonga-hunga-haapai_2022

https://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/onsite/news.phtml?id=1428

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2022GL098240

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2022/sun/nasa-mission-finds-tonga-volcanic-eruption-effects-reached-space

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/359421200_Numerical_Simulation_of_Atmospheric_Lamb_Waves_Generated_by_the_2022_Hunga-Tonga_Volcanic_Eruption

Category: Feature story, Volcanoes and Earthquakes

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Seasonal Outlook – June, July, August 2021

Overview

The data for the global temperature and precipitation outlooks are provided by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI). The IRI was established as a cooperative agreement between NOAA’s Climate Program Office and Columbia University. It is part of The Earth Institute, Columbia University. These maps are constructed primarily with data from NOAA climate models, with some minor tweaks by climatologists.

Temperature Outlook

  • What does RED mean on the map? The red and orange shading on the map indicates areas that have a higher probability (greater than 35%) of being “warmer than normal”, than “normal”, or “cooler than normal”.
  • What does BLUE mean on the map? The blue shading on the map indicates areas that have a higher probability (greater than 35%) of being “cooler than normal”, than “normal”, or “warmer normal”.
  • WHITE indicates areas that have a higher probability of being “normal” than “cooler or warmer than normal” and also, areas where the chances for being cooler than normal, warmer than normal, and normal are equal.

It should be noted that areas in the “warmer than normal” region may still have cooler than normal days, and may not be “hot”. This outlook only suggests that after the three months are over, those areas in the “warmer than normal” region are more likely to have experienced warmer than normal average temperatures.

Precipitation Outlook

  • What does GREEN mean on the map? The green shading on the map indicates areas that have a higher probability (greater than 35%) of being “wetter than normal”, than “normal”, or “drier than normal”.
  • What does BROWN mean on the map? The brown shading on the map indicates areas that have a higher probability (greater than 35%) of being “drier than normal”, than “normal”, or “wetter than normal”.
  • WHITE indicates areas that have a higher probability of being “normal” than “drier or wetter than normal” and also, areas where the chances for being drier than normal, wetter than normal, and normal are equal.

It should be noted that areas in the “wetter than normal” region may still have drier than normal days, and may not be “flooded”. This outlook only suggests that after the three months are over, those areas in the “wetter than normal” region are more likely to have experienced wetter than normal average rainfall.

High Resolution Global Outlook Graphics for Science On a Sphere ®

Background and References:
Starting in April 2017, the IRI probabilistic seasonal climate forecast product is based on a re-calibration of model output from the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s North American Multi-Model Ensemble Project (NMME). This includes the ensemble seasonal prediction systems of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Environment and Climate Change Canada, NOAA/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, NASA, NCAR and COLA/University of Miami. The output from each NMME model is re-calibrated prior to multi-model ensembling to form reliable probability forecasts. The forecasts are now presented on a 1-degree latitude-longitude grid.
Credits:
IRI
EarthNow Team
NOAA

Category: Global Seasonal Outlook, Seasonal Outlook
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2020 Climate Digest

Three phenomena dominated the Climate of 2020: wildfires, hurricanes, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Earth rotated into 2020, bush fires were raging in Australia. Smoke rose into the stratosphere and circled the globe for months. Later in the year, the western U.S. also experienced a devastating wildfire season, spewing even more smoke into Earth’s atmosphere.

Meanwhile travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in global reductions in air pollutants, especially atmospheric nitrogen. Lower fossil fuel use also resulted in a 7% reduction in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Less air pollution allowed a little more shortwave solar energy to reach Earth’s surface. But wildfire smoke meant solar energy was reflected back to space. And lower levels of carbon dioxide allowed more longwave infrared energy, or heat, to escape out into space. All of these affected global temperatures.

The global average land and ocean surface temperature in 2020 was 1.76 degrees Fahrenheit above average — only 4 tenths of 1 degree cooler than 2016. If not for extensive sunlight-reflecting wildfire smoke and lower levels of heat-trapping CO2 emissions due to the pandemic, 2020 may have surpassed 2016. As it was, Earth’s Northern Hemisphere saw its hottest year on record in 2020.

2020 also saw a record setting Atlantic hurricane season with 30 named storms, requiring the additional use of Greek letters to name them all. Seven systems caused over a billion dollars in damage! These were Hanna, Laura, Isaias, Sally, Delta, Eta and Zeta.

Research shows that the hurricane season is growing longer due to warmer ocean waters and warmer air temperatures. The ten hottest years have all occurred in the 21st century; the top two were 2016 and 2020.

The 2020 Climate Digest consists of a short movie (3:51 minutes) made for Science On a Sphere® (SOS) and an MP4 video accessible through YouTube.

Content includes:
– Smoke and aerosol patterns from the beginning of 2020
– Examples of decreases in NO2 for India and China
– NOAA-20 imagery of western U.S. wildfire smoke in September 2020
– Seven different 2020 hurricanes that caused over a billion dollars damage
– 2020 Blended Land and Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies
– 100 years of Global Temperature Anomalies

You can download the SOS content from this FTP Site.

Credits: EarthNow Team

Music: Arctic Sea Ice by Judy Twedt

References:
2020 Global Climate Report https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/202013
2020 Billion Dollar Disasters https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions
2020 Carbon Budget https://globalocean.noaa.gov/News/2020-global-carbon-budget-released-1
NO2 Declines https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4835
Australia Wildfire smoke and color bar https://gmao.gsfc.nasa.gov/research/science_snapshots/2020/Australia_fires_smoke.php

Category: Uncategorized

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