I was right when noticing hazy sunsets off Cable Beach, Broome, that they were probably a result of Chile’s volcanic eruption.
[…]Six months later, we are still seeing the effects of this material on sunsets in both hemispheres–and it appears to have affected the eclipse as well.” …
The latest eclipse of the moon confirmed it. What’s more it is an indication of a little cooling: Recent lunar eclipse reveals a sign of global cooling in the atmosphere
by Dr. Richard Keen, via spaceweather.com (h/t to Leif Svalgaard)
On Sept. 27th, millions of people around the world watched the Moon pass through the shadow of our planet. Most agreed that the lunar eclipse was darker than usual. Little did they know, they were witnessing a sign of global cooling. But only a little.(continued below)
Atmospheric scientist Richard Keen of the University of Colorado explains: “Lunar eclipses tell us a lot about the transparency of Earth’s atmosphere. When the stratosphere is clogged with volcanic ash and other aerosols, lunar eclipses tend to be dark red. On the other hand, when the stratosphere is relatively clear, lunar eclipses are bright orange.”
This is important because the stratosphere affects climate; a clear stratosphere ‘lets the sunshine in’ to warm the Earth below. At a 2008 SORCE conference Keen reported that “The lunar eclipse record indicates a clear stratosphere over the past decade, and that this has contributed about 0.2 degrees to recent warming.”
The eclipse of Sept. 27, 2015, however, was not as bright as recent eclipses. Trained observers in 7 countries estimated that the eclipse was about 0.4 magnitude dimmer than expected, a brightness reduction of about 33 percent.
What happened? “There is a layer of volcanic aerosols in the lower stratosphere,” says Steve Albers of NOAA. “It comes from Chile’s Calbuco volcano, which erupted in April 2015. Six months later, we are still seeing the effects of this material on sunsets in both hemispheres–and it appears to have affected the eclipse as well.” …
The images below from the 28th April sunset on Cable Beach. It was a clear day, with a strong haze on the horizon: