Volcano’s size is impressive. What it may mean for the whole planet is uncertain.

The violent eruption of Tonga’s Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano injected an unprecedented amount of water directly into the stratosphere — and the vapor will stay there for years, likely affecting the Earth’s climate patterns, NASA scientists say.

The massive amount of water vapor is roughly 10% of the normal amount of vapor found in the stratosphere, equaling more than 58,000 Olympic-size swimming pools….”We’ve never seen anything like it,” said atmospheric scientist Luis Millán, who works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Millán led a study of the water the volcano sent into the sky; the team’s research was published in Geophysical Research Letters…

The Jan. 15 eruption came from a volcano that’s more than 12 miles wide, with a caldera sitting roughly 500 feet below sea level. One day earlier, Tongan officials reported the volcano was in a continuous eruption, sending a 3-mile-wide plume of steam and ash into the sky. Then the big blast came, sending ash, gases and vapor as high as 35 miles — a record in the satellite era — into the atmosphere…

Earlier large volcanic eruptions have affected climate, but they usually cool temperatures, because they send light-scattering aerosols into the stratosphere. Those aerosols act as a sort of massive layer of sunscreen. But since water vapor traps heat, the Tongan eruption could temporarily raise temperatures a bit, the researchers said.

It normally takes around 2-3 years for sulfate aerosols from volcanoes to fall out of the stratosphere. But the water from the Jan. 15 eruption could take 5-10 years to fully dissipate.

Given that timeframe and the extraordinary amount of water involved, Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai “may be the first volcanic eruption observed to impact climate not through surface cooling caused by volcanic sulfate aerosols, but rather through surface warming,” the researchers said in their paper.

This is one to keep an eye on. No doubt we’ll revisit the Hunga Ha’apai volcano more than once in the years to come.

Majority of U.S. Workers Changing Jobs Are Seeing Real Wage Gains

The Great Resignation of 2021 has continued into 2022, with quit rates reaching levels last seen in the 1970s. Although not all workers who leave a job are working in another job the next month, the majority of those switching employers are seeing it pay off in higher earnings, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. government data.

From April 2021 to March 2022, a period in which quit rates reached post-pandemic highs, the majority of workers switching jobs (60%) saw an increase in their real earnings over the same month the previous year. This happened despite a surge in the rate of inflation that has eroded real earnings for many others. Among workers who remained with the same employer, fewer than half (47%) experienced an increase in real earnings…

Workers are split over how easy or difficult it would be for them to get the kind of job they’d want if they were to look for a new job today. About four-in-ten (39%) say it would be very or somewhat easy, while a similar share (37%) say it would be very or somewhat difficult…

Upper-income workers are significantly more likely than middle- and lower-income workers to say they’d have an easy time finding a job if they were looking today. Fully half of upper-income workers say it would be easy for them to find the kind of job they wanted, compared with 38% of middle-income workers and 34% of those with lower incomes.

I’d be curious to see the linkage between the economics of context, over time. Though I rarely had problems switching jobs, most of my life has been spent within the easy commuting space of cities with a solid growing economy. Even in hard times.