With 600 plus magnitude 5 or higher earthquakes, and more than 20 of them being mag 6 or greater in the last 12 months it must come as no great surprise the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano happened in the volatile region of the Tonga Trench on Saturday. The big question now is what impact will the eruption have to the Tonga region and our planet?
The population of Tonga is around 110,000 but understandably contact with the island is at the moment very difficult. The blast size is also not known yet but some experts are comparing it to something in the region of 1,000 times the size of the Hiroshima nuclear explosion in Japan during the war.
According to Professor Shane Cronin from the University of Aukland the eruption was a 5 on the VEI Scale, see graph below.
Other experts are claiming the explosion was a once in a thousand-year event, however, with recent climate and other geological events we can take those numbers with a pinch of salt!
It is estimated the blast shot around half-a-million tons of sulphur dioxide, which is about 19.5 million tons less than the Mount Tambora eruption in the Dutch East-Indies in 1816 which caused a year without summer, see below
A Year Without Summer!
1816 summer temperature anomaly compared to average temperatures from 1971–2000 By Giorgiogp2 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
The year 1816 is known as the Year Without a Summer also the Poverty Year, the Summer that Never Was, Year There Was No Summer after Mount Tambora erupted in the Dutch East-Indies. An event like this would be a perfect convenient answer to the scientists claiming our planet is too warm, just imagine a decrease of, 0.4–0.7 °C (0.7–1.3 °F) in global temperatures would bring our planet right back into balance regarding global warming. The Year Without Summer