1. Home
  2. Blog
  3. UPSC

Tonga volcano could cause unusual weather for rest of decade: study


Why is it in the news?

  • A recent study published in the Journal of Climate revealed that the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in January 2022 has had significant implications for global weather patterns.

Key discoveries of the research include:

  • Unusual Climate Effects:
  • The eruption of the Hunga Tonga volcano led to unexpected weather patterns, including an exceptionally large ozone hole last year and a much wetter-than-anticipated summer in 2024.
  • These effects were attributed to the massive release of water vapor into the stratosphere, diverging from the typical smoke and sulfur dioxide emissions of volcanic eruptions.
  • Impact on Ozone Hole:
  • The study indicates that the eruption of Hunga Tonga influenced the significant ozone hole observed from August to December 2023.
  • The released water vapor contributed to chemical reactions, depleting the ozone layer over Antarctica.
  • Interestingly, this effect was foreseen by climate simulations conducted two years earlier.
  • Impact on Southern Annular Mode:
  • The ozone hole’s presence triggered a positive phase of the Southern Annular Mode in the summer of 2024.
  • This led to increased chances of a wetter summer in Australia, diverging from El Niño-based expectations. Notably, climate models accurately predicted this phenomenon in advance.
  • Atmospheric Wave Alteration:
  • The eruption seems to have changed the paths of atmospheric waves, impacting high and low-pressure systems that shape weather patterns.
  • This indicates that the eruption’s effects might endure for years, influencing weather variability globally.

Overview of Tonga:

  • Tonga, located in Polynesia, comprises 171 islands, 45 of which are inhabited, spanning 800 km north-south.
  • Surrounded by neighboring countries, it boasts a tropical rainforest climate.
  • The economy relies significantly on remittances from Tongans abroad, with emphasis on small-scale industries like handicrafts and agriculture.
  • Efforts to bolster tourism and communications sectors are underway.
  • The population primarily consists of Tongans, alongside diverse ethnic groups by a mix of Tongans, Chinese, Fijians, Europeans, and other Pacific Islanders.

Get free UPSC Updates straight to your inbox!

Get Updates on New Notification about APPSC, TSPSC and UPSC

Get Current Affairs Updates Directly into your Inbox

Discover more from AMIGOS IAS

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading