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The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai Hydration of the Stratosphere

Millán, L. and Santee, M. L. and Lambert, A. and Livesey, N. J. and Werner, F. and Schwartz, M. J. and Pumphrey, H. C. and Manney, G. L. and Wang, Y. and Su, H. and Wu, L. and Read, W. G. and Froidevaux, L. (2022) The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai Hydration of the Stratosphere. Geophysical Research Letters, 49 (13). Art. No. e2022GL099381. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/2022GL099381.

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Following the 15 January 2022 Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption, several trace gases measured by the Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) displayed anomalous stratospheric values. Trajectories and radiance simulations confirm that the H₂O, SO₂, and HCl enhancements were injected by the eruption. In comparison with those from previous eruptions, the SO₂ and HCl mass injections were unexceptional, although they reached higher altitudes. In contrast, the H₂O injection was unprecedented in both magnitude (far exceeding any previous values in the 17-year MLS record) and altitude (penetrating into the mesosphere). We estimate the mass of H₂O injected into the stratosphere to be 146 ± 5 Tg, or ∼10% of the stratospheric burden. It may take several years for the H₂O plume to dissipate. This eruption could impact climate not through surface cooling due to sulfate aerosols, but rather through surface warming due to the radiative forcing from the excess stratospheric H₂O.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper Information ItemAura MLS Level 2 data ItemAura MLS Derived Meteorological Products
Millán, L.0000-0002-9509-9095
Santee, M. L.0000-0002-9466-7257
Lambert, A.0000-0003-3182-1824
Livesey, N. J.0000-0001-8753-9153
Werner, F.0000-0002-7141-0934
Schwartz, M. J.0000-0001-6169-5094
Pumphrey, H. C.0000-0003-0747-1457
Manney, G. L.0000-0003-4489-4811
Wang, Y.0000-0001-6657-8401
Su, H.0000-0003-1265-9702
Wu, L.0000-0001-8447-8180
Read, W. G.0000-0001-8474-3490
Froidevaux, L.0000-0002-0681-1483
Additional Information:© 2022 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. Government sponsorship acknowledged. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes. Issue Online: 01 July 2022; Version of Record online: 01 July 2022; Manuscript accepted: 02 June 2022; Manuscript revised: 31 May 2022; Manuscript received: 30 April 2022. The research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (80NM0018D0004). GLM was supported by the JPL Microwave Limb Sounder team under JPL subcontract #1521127 to NWRA. We thank S. Khaykin for helpful discussions. The suggestions for improvements from the two anonymous reviewers are gratefully acknowledged. Data Availability Statement: The data sets used here are publicly available as follows. Aura MLS Level 2 data:; Aura MLS Derived Meteorological Products: (registration required).
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Issue or Number:13
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220520-388184000
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Official Citation:Millán, L., Santee, M. L., Lambert, A., Livesey, N. J., Werner, F., Schwartz, M. J., et al. (2022). The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai Hydration of the Stratosphere. Geophysical Research Letters, 49, e2022GL099381.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:114833
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:23 May 2022 19:33
Last Modified:29 Jul 2022 20:58

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