Rapid ozone depletion after humidification of the stratosphere by the Hunga Tonga Eruption

Evan, Stephanie ; Brioude, Jerome ; Rosenlof, Karen H. ; Gao, Ru-Shan ; Portmann, Robert W. ; Zhu, Yunqian ; Volkamer, Rainer ; Lee, Christopher F. ; Metzger, Jean-Marc ; Lamy, Kevin ; Walter, Paul ; Alvarez, Sergio L. ; Flynn, James H. ; Asher, Elizabeth ; Todt, Michael ; Davis, Sean M. ; Thornberry, Troy ; Vömel, Holger ; Wienhold, Frank G. ; Stauffer, Ryan M. ; Millán, Luis ; Santee, Michelle L. ; Froidevaux, Lucien ; Read, William G.

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The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on 15 January 2022 offered a good opportunity to explore the early impacts of tropical volcanic eruptions on stratospheric composition. Balloon-borne observations near Réunion Island revealed the unprecedented amount of water vapor injected by the volcano. The enhanced stratospheric humidity, radiative cooling, and expanded aerosol surface area in the volcanic plume created the ideal conditions for swift ozone depletion of 5% in the tropical stratosphere in just 1 week. The decrease in hydrogen chloride by 0.4 parts per million by volume (ppbv) and the increase in chlorine monoxide by 0.4 ppbv provided compelling evidence for chlorine activation within the volcanic plume. This study enhances our understanding of the effect of this unusual volcanic eruption on stratospheric chemistry and provides insights into possible chemistry changes that may occur in a changing climate.</p>

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