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February 15, 2008
Sun Days Will Never Be the Same
Yet another climate expert concurs that, while solar activity normally fluctuates in 11-year cycles, we now appear to be at a cold standstill. And his research adds voice to growing concerns that Sun cycle 24's late start may have a chilling effect on the Earth's Climate.
I suppose some background of our coverage thus far may be in order:
- Last December, Dr David Whitehouse noted that the apex of solar activity at the end of last century corresponded with the period's unusually high temperatures, and that temps have been flat since activity abated. He suggested we were entering a new solar cycle which would begin a period of global cooling. The Sun expert reminded readers that a similar sunspot holiday in the 17th Century (The Maunder Minimum) corresponded with the coldest and most damaging temperatures of that millennium (The Little Ice Age).
- Then last week, we discovered that scientists at Canada's National Research Council are also concerned with the apparent hibernation of old Sol, and are seeking emergency funding for equipment to better observe our primary source of heat. And they, like Whitehouse, also believe we may be entering into another minimum.
While the greenhouse gas effect obsessed MSM have completely ignored this phenomenon, meteorologist Anthony Watts has not. On Wednesday, the founder of the oft-cited SurfaceStations.org released results of his own "exhaustive search" for recent solar activity, reporting that:
"we've seen months and months of next to nothing, and the start of Solar cycle 24 seems to have materialized then abruptly disappeared."
In Watts' wonderfully illustrative essay, he steps us through a somewhat technical yet quite readable explanation of sunspots and how their numbers are indicative of the "activity level of the solar dynamo." He then joins the minimum club, equating recent inactivity coupled with the late (and, perhaps, false) start of cycle 24 to patterns last seen during the Dalton Minimum. Not by coincidence, the diminished solar activity during Dalton also coincided with a period (1790 to 1820) of lower than average global temperatures, leading Watts to conclude:
"No wonder there is so much talk recently about global cooling. I certainly hope that's wrong, because a Dalton type solar minimum would be very bad for our world economy and agriculture."
Yes, it would. Then again, so would wasting resources - financial or otherwise -- to reduce totally benign -- if not beneficial -- greenhouse gases through Carbon taxes, Cap-and-Trade, Carbon capture/sequestration technologies, or any other preposterous schemes.
Especially should average temperatures plummet, as predicted, in the next few years responding to the abatement not of atmospheric CO2 (which will likely continue to rise), but rather sunspots.
The unremitting mulish refusal to accept the yellow dwarf star at the center of our solar system as the force that drives our climate and weather - despite all overwhelming correlating evidence -- is simply mind-boggling.
It betrays a lack of reason so profound, it is exceeded only by the choice to attempt controlling global climate rather than adapting to its unwavering and inevitable flux.