Study Shows Massive Eruption Thinned Earth’s Protective Ozone Layer

The January 2022 eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in the South Pacific produced a shock wave felt around the world and tsunamis around the Pacific basin—some thousands miles distant. It created longer-term effects as well, changing the chemistry and dynamics of the earth’s atmosphere in the year following the eruption, according to a recent study by researchers from the University of Maryland (Including AOSC Professor Ross Salawitch) and Harvard University.

Published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research shows that the 12-hour undersea eruption led to unprecedented losses of up to 7% of the ozone layer over large areas of the Southern Hemisphere.

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