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Mount Ulawun erupts to 50,000 feet in Papua New Guinea–implications for climate in Southeast

Today Mount Ulawun erupted in an explosive eruption that sent ash well over 50,000 feet in Papua, New Guinea. You can read more about the eruption at MSN at https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/papua-new-guinea-volcano-spews-ash-triggering-eruption-alert/ar-AADrDYQ. This is likely to have important consequences for the climate of the Southeast in the next few years, since strong eruptions that put ash and sulfuric acid into the stratosphere high above the earth’s surface can cool the Earth for several years after the eruption occurs. It will take time for the volcanic material to spread across the tropics and then into the mid-latitudes, but typically in these types of eruptions (the latest was Mount Pinatubo in 1992) we see cooler temperatures for several years after the eruption as the volcanic material reduces the sunlight that reaches the surface of the earth.  Something to keep in mind as you start to think about what you will be planting for the next 2-3 years. If you are interested in reading more about how volcanoes affect climate, check out https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/gas_climate.html.

Here is a loop of the eruption from the Himawari satellite–the eruption is in orange in the satellite loop.

http://rammb-slider.cira.colostate.edu/?sat=himawari&z=2&im=12&ts=1&st=0&et=0&speed=130&motion=loop&map=1&lat=1&opacity%5B0%5D=1&hidden%5B0%5D=0&pause=0&slider=-1&hide_controls=0&mouse_draw=0&follow_feature=0&follow_hide=0&s=rammb-slider&sec=full_disk&p%5B0%5D=jma_so2&x=11176&y=12900