Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mount Redoubt and sunsets?

Mount Redoubt, a volcano situated to the southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, has erupted several times in the past month.

The strongest eruption had an ash cloud that rose to around 65,000 feet, with nearly a dozen other eruptions spewing ash to 60,000 feet. If Mount Redoubt behaves as it has in the past it may continue this pattern for several more months.

It has been known for years that volcanic activity can influence weather patterns around the globe. The ash and other aerosols released into the atmosphere from volcanoes can block a portion of the Sun’s energy from striking the Earth, which has historically caused a net cooling of the planet. As of now, Mount Redoubt has not released enough ash for this to be a concern.

Volcanic ash has another effect – brilliant sunsets – and some of the ash may end up over our area this week, so be on the lookout for brighter evening colors.

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