by E. Erickson, Aug 14, 2023 in ClimateChangeDispatch
On Jan. 15, 2022, the underwater Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha’apai volcano in the Pacific exploded. The volcano triggered tsunamis in the South Pacific and sent a massive plume of water vapor into the stratosphere.
Over the past year, scientists have increased the estimates of how much water vapor went into the stratosphere. That water vapor, every scientist agrees, warms the planet. [emphasis, links added]
Originally, scientists estimated 50 million metric tons of water went into the atmosphere.
Now, revised estimates are at 150 million metric tons, which equates to 40 trillion gallons of water injected into the stratosphere.
Over the past year, dozens of scientists have produced papers warning that the summer of 2023 and possibly into the next decade would be abnormally hot.
Scientists suggest the global temperature could increase more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
In fact, that is exactly what is happening. Up until the summer heat wave, news reports noted the expected increase in temperatures due to the volcano.
But as the heat wave began, as predicted, the volcano and its water vapor disappeared from coverage.
Now, in the progressive spirit of never letting a crisis go to waste, the American and European press corpshave begun a full-court press on climate change.