More than eight months after an underwater volcano erupted near Tonga on Jan. 14, scientists are still analyzing the effects of the massive explosion, and are finding that it may have warmed the planet.

Recently, researchers estimated that the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haapa volcano released a staggering 50 million tons (45 million metric tons) of water vapor into the atmosphere in addition to huge amounts of ash and volcanic gases. This massive vapor injection increased the amount of moisture in the global stratosphere by about 5% and may have triggered a cycle of stratospheric cooling and surface heating — and these effects can persist for months, according to a new study.

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