Climate scientists were alerted to the explosion that occurred at the Hunga volcano in Tonga, an island nation in the Pacific. The earth can be cooled by sulfur dioxide gas that is released from eruptions. It can be emitted high enough to cause an explosion.
But eruptions of sufficient size to cause such an eruption are rare. The last eruption was at Mount Pinatubo in Philippines in 1991. It emitted approximately 20 million tons gas into the air. Global cooling was about 1 degree Fahrenheit or half a degrees Celsius for almost two years.
Climate scientists would have a lot of data to study natural influences on climate if Pinatubo’s eruption of the Hunga volcano had been replicated. NASA even created a rapid-response programme to deploy balloon-laden instruments quickly to collect data after large volcanic eruptions.
Satellite images of the Hunga eruption suggested that it might be another Pinatubo event. However, the appearances were deceiving. Satellite sensors measured a relatively small amount of sulfur dioxide, about 2 percent of Pinatubo’s output. This is not enough to provide temporary relief against the unstoppable march of global heating.
Hunga was quite ordinary from a climate perspective. But Hunga was exceptional in many other ways. This week I wrote this article about the eruption. The explosion generated a huge pressure wave, which some scientists have never seen before. Tsunamis were also created around the world from the blast’s source. Although Hunga may not have given climate scientists much to talk about, other researchers will continue to study the eruption.
Quotable: “Not that we weren’t aware of volcanic explosions and tsunamis,” said Lori Dengler, a geophysicist. “But to witness it with the modern array of instruments we have is truly unprecedented.”
By using the aerial pictures to construct three-dimensional digital models of the glaciers’ every nook and crevasse from eight decades ago, researchers can make better predictions about how quickly the ice will disappear as a result of climate change in the 21st century.
The methods used for large-scale computer reconstructions Which I wrote this week, could be used in conjunction with archival photos of glaciers in other areas of the world to unlock insight there, too.
Numbers:Svalbard has warmed twice fast than the rest of the Arctic region over the past 30 years and seven times faster than the global average.
How extreme heat can harm children
A nationwide study of rising temperatures and young Americans has revealed that more people visit emergency rooms on hotter days.
While this might not seem surprising in light of heat stroke, many of the findings were unexpected. It is difficult to explain the higher risk of blood and immune system diseases in children during high heat. Studies of adults have not shown this.
This research adds evidence to the growing body that heat poses dangers to vulnerable populations, including adolescents and children. You can Get the details in my article from this week.
Quotable: “We’ve run into trouble previously assuming that children are little adults,” said Dr. Aaron Bernstein, a pediatrician at the Boston Children’s Hospital.
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Why it matters:Heat waves and rising temperatures are becoming more frequent due to climate change.
Amazon’s craving for electric vans
The company has big plans for turning its delivery fleet green. But Very few vehicles are manufacturedRight now
Smell is merely a result of chemical concentrations in air. It seems to possess remarkable power. It can affect our moods, trigger old memories, bring happiness or cause havoc. It can be difficult to explain or communicate to others.
That’s why, for the past 50 years, Chuck McGinley, a chemical engineer and odor expert, has been determined to give everyone the confidence in their nose that they already have in their eyes and ears.
Over several days, Mike McGinley and his son Mr. McGinley showed me around their lab. It was a veritable wonderland of smells: A repurposed bank vault stored the stinkiest compounds like skunk and indole (also known as “the smell of death”), samples of cat pee and poop lined a shelf in the office freezer, and towels infused with Mike’s proprietary “moldy smell” recipe were stacked near a laundry machine.
His greatest contribution to our understanding smells may be the tools Mr. McGinley invented and refined. Instruments such as his Nasal Ranger (a Dr. Seussian device which can help people quantify smell) and his odor wheels, which provide users with a vocabulary that allows them to clearly communicate what they are smelling, are his greatest contributions to our understanding of smells. McGinley challenged the long-held belief that smell can’t be measured by giving people a richer language to describe what they smell.
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