April 01, 2024

New Research Finds that Solar Eclipses are Harder to See Due to Global Warming

There is a lot of concern about cloudiness obscuring the sun during next Monday's total eclipse.

Interestingly it turns out that such eclipse-viewing problems are increasing as the earth warms up due to increasing levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.


A recent study in the Journal of Climate Statistics by Professor Wade Rocston of the University of Western East New Brunswick documents a significant (23%) increasing trend in cloud-obscured solar eclipses.

The origin of the increasing cloud cover is clear according the Professor Rocston.  Increasing CO2 leads to global warming.  Such warming results in more evaporation and the moisture content of the air increases with temperature (see below).  This leads to more clouds and thus greater obscuration of solar eclipses.

The moisture content of air increases with temperature, which leads to more clouds

To give you some perspective on this issue, the first study documenting the increased clouds in a warming world is found in a 1986 paper by A. Henderson-Sellers:


This ground-breaking study found increased springtime clouds over Texas and the rest of the eclipse path (see below, cross-hatched shading indicates increasing clouds):

According to the ICCC, the International Committee on Climate Change, which includes leading climate scientists from around the world, solar eclipses have become 24% less visible due to climate change-related cloudiness increases.  Their analysis suggests that if CO2 concentrations remain at their current level, the associated warming and increased cloudiness will result in nearly 46% of total eclipse events being obscured by clouds by the end of the century.

The inability to see total eclipses is one of the lesser-known impacts of global warming, but it is a real loss for astronomers and the rest of us.  I look forward to a detailed discussion of this unfortunate situation in a future article by the Seattle Times ClimateLab reporters.

Finally, happy April 1.


15 comments:

  1. I checked the calendar when I read "University of Western East New Brunswick". Sister university to Peter Schickele's U of Southern North Dakota at Hoople perhaps?

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  2. So much effort has been focused on the relationship between water vapor and warming that our understanding of cloudiness is now esssentially perfect. Happy April 1 indeed!

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  3. I can't wait for The Seattle Times to use that paper as a source in their next climate change article!

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  4. Saw that coming. But not so far-fetched, based on the nonsense that crawls out daily.

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  5. I was proven the fool, believing you were serious. Ha!

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  6. Almost got me until the end! HAHAHAHAHA Or...?

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  7. My dear Cliff, that was a most excellent April 1 posting. Thank you for that.

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  8. Not too worry. We really no longer need to be concerned with actually seeing things like eclipses, volcanoes, or endangered species. We can more readily "experience" them in an AI generated fully immersive virtual reality system.

    By the way, April Fools Day is really tomorrow, this being a Leap Year combined with Easter falling March!

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  9. Hopefully, it's a joke. Twenty-four percent more clouds now and 46% by 2100? Seems unlikely!

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  10. Way back in the early 1990's I was at a conference where a climatologist from the NWS spoke on climate change. His opinion was that climate change was probably related to jet contrails.
    Weather observations showed increased nighttime temperatures, with daytime holding steady.
    You can see the contrails changing into cloud cover on the NWS weather satellite photos.
    The weather has definitely gotten cloudier over the past 30 years.
    The real question is it due to CO2 increase or just the increased frequency of jet travel and the resultant contrails??
    Not sure which is right, but a subject worth examining.

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  11. Cliff, you had me until the ICCC. Reminds me of the great pickle harvest in 1970 by NBC News's John Chancellor. I remember being completely taken in. Someone spent a lot of time tying those pickles onto that tree! Sadly, no video appears to exist. Closest link I can find is this: https://arnoldzwicky.org/2014/04/01/april-1/

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  12. You got me! Great gag. Well done, Cliff.

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  13. As I was reading this I became deeply concerned that you were taken over by mind parasites. When I got to the end my relief was profound. Not happy that I was taken in by the joke up until the end but I am ecstatic that you are still the truth seeker I've come to respect.

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  14. Proud to hear about your new job with the Seattle Times

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Please make sure your comments are civil. Name calling and personal attacks are not appropriate.

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