Volcanic eruptions in Tonga can be harmful to the environment for years
The destruction of Tonga’s massive underwater volcanic eruption is still under evaluation, but scientists are now warning that the damage could be prolonged. Volcanoes emit two gases that produce acid rain: sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. This can damage crops, including staples. Like the talo, corn and bananas that the locals depend on. Geologist Marco Brenna is studying the effects of the eruption through satellite imagery. It circulates within the stratosphere for quite a few weeks, sometimes months, and in some ways around the world. In particular, the more direct impact on Tonga was direct rainfall from clouds that covered most of Tonga’s landscape with ash of a few centimeters. Seen from satellite images and it basically affected water, drinking water sources, vegetation, animal grazing, etc. Volcanic ash is toxic. And it may not be just Tonga-a lot of rain could land in Fiji. Fish are at risk in the water. Life in Tonga depends on the sea. However, eruptive ash can be harmful to marine life. Muddy ash-filled water near the volcano robs fish of food and clears the spawning bed. Indeed, the fishing industry may have been affected, for example, by the turbidity of the water. As a result, eruptions produce significant amounts of suspended particles in seawater, which can affect fishing grounds. Ash fall also has such an effect and can change the acidification of ocean surface. On the other hand, the surviving marine life is forced to move. Even before the eruption, Tonga’s coral reefs were threatened by the effects of climate change, including disease outbreaks and coral bleaching. And an increasingly strong cyclone.