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View Full Version : Rare Drop in Sunspot Activity Could Cause Little Ice Age



Odysseus
06-17-2011, 02:01 AM
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 9:22 AM EDT
http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/163419/20110615/solar-activity-little-ice-age.htm

By IB Times Staff Reporter

The sun is most likely going into hibernation as the latest unusual solar readings, including fading sunspots and weakening magnetic activity near the poles suggest that we are headed towards a solar event that hasn't happened in hundreds of years, according to new data released Tuesday at the annual meeting of the solar physics division of the American Astronomical Society in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Even though the Sun has been active recently as it heads towards solar maximum in 2013, there are three lines of evidence including a missing jet stream in the solar interior, fading sunspots on the sun's visible surface, and changes in the corona and near the poles suggest that the next 11-year-long solar cycle will be far quieter than the current one or it may not even happen.

There are some scientists at the conference who said the current findings from the studies mean that we are at the beginning of a Maunder Minimum, a 70-year period that began around 1645 when hardly any sunspots were observed.

This decline in sunspots coincided with below-normal temperatures, in a climate period known as the Little Ice Age that struck Europe and North America, where temperatures dropped by 1.8 to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1-1.5 degrees Celsius). But scientists warn that the temperature change due to a decline in sunspot activity would likely be minimal and not enough to compensate for global warming.

Sunspots were first observed by Chinese astronomers in 800 B.C., systematic observations of sunspots through the telescope started around 1600. In 1843, a German astronomer Samuel Schawbe first discovered that the number of sunspots wax and wane in a cyclic fashion with an 11-year periodicity. This is called the sunspot cycle or the solar cycle.

We're now in Solar Cycle 24, heading for a maximum in the sun's activity sometime in 2013. The new studies noticed a long-term trend of sunspot weakening, and if the trend continues, the sun's magnetic field won't be strong enough to produce sunspots during Solar Cycle 25.

ďThe flow for Cycle 25 should have appeared in 2008 or 2009 but it has not and we see no sign of it. This indicates that the start of Cycle 25 may be delayed to 2021 or 2022, with a minimum great that what we just experienced, or may not happen at all,Ē said Frank Hill, the associate director of the National Solar Observatory's Solar Synoptic Network.

The 2008 and 2009 period was unusual in that all of the sunspots disappeared, a situation that had not occurred for nearly a century.

The Maunder Minimum, a 70-year period with virtually no sunspots, coincided with the Little Ice Age, a period of unusual cold. But it has not been proven whether there is a causal connection between low sunspot activity and cold winters as that period also coincided with an upswing in volcanic emissions, which are known more definitely to contribute to global cooling.

So astronomers will be watching the sun carefully over the next couple of years to find out if the activity on the Sun contributes to climate change on Earth.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I think that we can stop worrying about CO2 and greenhouse gasses now.

djones520
06-17-2011, 03:27 AM
Hmmm... we've been having a lot of major eruptions lately as well. I wonder if the sun quieting down has anything to do with volcanic eruptions, leading to global cooling?

Bailey
06-17-2011, 05:04 AM
Hmmm... we've been having a lot of major eruptions lately as well. I wonder if the sun quieting down has anything to do with volcanic eruptions, leading to global cooling?

well its been freaking hot where i live so no global cooling as of yet :(

fettpett
06-17-2011, 10:09 AM
we've had a really cool spring/summer so far, only a few days over 70, let alone above 80.


wonder if we'll get another Mary Shelly out of it :D

Odysseus
06-17-2011, 11:38 AM
Hmmm... we've been having a lot of major eruptions lately as well. I wonder if the sun quieting down has anything to do with volcanic eruptions, leading to global cooling?

Possibly. As the Earth's crust cools, it contracts, causing tectonic shifts. The ocean floor would lose heat faster than the surface landmass, so the contractions might be felt more in coastal areas, hence the tsunami in Japan.

Of course, I'm not the climate expert that Wilbur is... :D:rolleyes:

Bailey
06-17-2011, 11:41 AM
we've had a really cool spring/summer so far, only a few days over 70, let alone above 80.


wonder if we'll get another Mary Shelly out of it :D

Ya but dont you guys have only one or two months of decent weather then its back to snowstorms? :D:p

djones520
06-17-2011, 12:01 PM
Possibly. As the Earth's crust cools, it contracts, causing tectonic shifts. The ocean floor would lose heat faster than the surface landmass, so the contractions might be felt more in coastal areas, hence the tsunami in Japan.

Of course, I'm not the climate expert that Wilbur is... :D:rolleyes:

The only problem with that, is your backwards. The surface landmasses lose heat 5 times faster then the ocean floors would.

AmPat
06-17-2011, 12:18 PM
If we only had a few thousand more of those ugly Prius' we could stop this global cooling-warming-lukewarming or whatever cycle we are on this week.

Toyota, please save the planet!:rolleyes:

Odysseus
06-17-2011, 12:41 PM
The only problem with that, is your backwards. The surface landmasses lose heat 5 times faster then the ocean floors would.

Like I said, I'm not the climate expert that Wilbur is. :D

I assumed that underwater masses would lose heat faster because I lose heat faster in water than air. :D

Bailey
06-17-2011, 12:43 PM
Like I said, I'm not the climate expert that Wilbur is. :D

I assumed that underwater masses would lose heat faster because I lose heat faster in water than air. :D

Just stick with what you know Colonel, Power point :D

AmPat
06-17-2011, 12:50 PM
Like I said, I'm not the climate expert that Wilbur is. :D

I assumed that underwater masses would lose heat faster because I lose heat faster in water than air. :D

Wilbur will be in here as soon as he can postulate a ridiculus theory to blame the sunspots on AGW. I still suspect it's because we need more Prius' eco cars.

The Night Owl
06-17-2011, 01:13 PM
Answer: No.


Are we headed for a new ice age?

Much ado was made over the recent news that the Sunís magnetic activity may be cooling off over the next few years. Can this mean the Earth itself will literally cool off, slipping into an ice age? Some news sites are reporting it that way (of course, the execrable Daily Mail uses the headline "Earth facing a mini-Ice Age Ďwithin ten yearsí due to rare drop in sunspot activity"; which isnít even within a glancing blow of reality).

The answer ó spoiler alert! ó is almost certainly "no". I want to make sure thatís clear, because I will bet essentially any amount of money that some climate change denial sites will run with this story and claim that we donít need to worry about global warming. Thatís baloney, and what follows is why. The reasons take a minute to explain, but of course thatís where the cool stuff (haha!) is. So letís take this one step at a time. And if you have the attention span of an E. coli bacterium, you can skip down to the conclusion section.

[Note: a lot of this is taken from my book "Death from the Skies!", where I interviewed approximately a bazillion people. One in particular was Caspar Ammann, who was very helpful in explaining the solar connection with the Little Ice Age to me.]

...

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/06/17/are-we-headed-for-a-new-ice-age

Apache
06-17-2011, 01:35 PM
Can you give me the winning lottery numbers?




:rolleyes:

fettpett
06-17-2011, 04:30 PM
ooh....mr TNO is back....:rolleyes:

Rockntractor
06-17-2011, 09:38 PM
Time for another owl movement!
http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv230/upyourstruly/25218651.gif

djones520
06-18-2011, 12:28 AM
Answer: No.



http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/06/17/are-we-headed-for-a-new-ice-age

Ok, now that you've stated our response, provide your reasoning.

I'll be waiting.

The Night Owl
06-18-2011, 12:36 AM
Ok, now that you've stated our response, provide your reasoning.

I thought the article I posted did a good job explaining why a solar minimum will probably not lead to an ice age, so assume my position to be based on that.


I'll be waiting.

What is it with you guys and the waiting? Are you guys trying to be dramatic or something?

Rockntractor
06-18-2011, 01:00 AM
I thought the article I posted did a good job explaining why a solar minimum will probably not lead to an ice age, so assume my position to be based on that.



What is it with you guys and the waiting? Are you guys trying to be dramatic or something?

Trying to give you every chance to be honest.

djones520
06-18-2011, 01:17 AM
I thought the article I posted did a good job explaining why a solar minimum will probably not lead to an ice age, so assume my position to be based on that.



What is it with you guys and the waiting? Are you guys trying to be dramatic or something?

No, you just tend to dissapear for a while, so I'll most likely end up waiting for a response.

As to the article that you linked, that guy is all over the place, and really is only supporting the argument of those he's trying to refute in the end.

He goes on to argue that the weakening solar activity directly lead to effects in the atmosphere that affected the Jet Stream, aiding in the Little Ice Age.


The dependence is complicated, but the bottom line is the jet stream is weaker when thereís less ozone (it has to do with latitude-dependent temperature gradients across the upper atmosphere; those gradients are strong in winter and weak in summer). Ozone creation depends on UV from the Sun, which is weaker during a solar minimum. See where this is going? Weaker magnetic activity on the Sun means less ozone which means a weaker jet stream which means it meanders more, bringing cold air south in some places.



His own words.

He tries to throw you off by stating that the Maunder minimum started long after the "Little Ice Age" did, but he doesn't tell you about the Sporer and Wolf minimums that took place during the earlier periods of it. The three minimums got progressively "stronger", and there is a direct correlation between those and the lowering temperatures in that period of time. The coldest temps were associated with the strongest minimum.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/73/Carbon-14_with_activity_labels.png/800px-Carbon-14_with_activity_labels.png

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bb/1000_Year_Temperature_Comparison.png

I mean look at that. Wolf minimum, drop in temps. Sporer minimum, bigger drop in temps. Maunder minimum, bigger drop in temps.

So don't expect me to take what he's saying with any value. Either he's trying to mislead, or he's just not doing enough research.

txradioguy
06-18-2011, 02:28 AM
Given the fact that the Eco Weenies have been caught...again...fudging numbers to support their Global Warming Hoax...I'd trust the stuff my 13 y/o son tells me about the environment over these so called "experts".

Kay
06-18-2011, 09:39 AM
we've had a really cool spring/summer so far,
only a few days over 70, let alone above 80.

A pox on you, it hasn't been under 100 here for weeks.
I can't wait to see what July and August bring.

The Night Owl
06-18-2011, 11:46 AM
No, you just tend to dissapear for a while, so I'll most likely end up waiting for a response.

If you're suggesting that I disappear to dodge questions then you're wrong. I disappear when I'm too busy to participate here. Is that okay with you?


As to the article that you linked, that guy is all over the place, and really is only supporting the argument of those he's trying to refute in the end.

He goes on to argue that the weakening solar activity directly lead to effects in the atmosphere that affected the Jet Stream, aiding in the Little Ice Age.

...

His own words.

He tries to throw you off by stating that the Maunder minimum started long after the "Little Ice Age" did, but he doesn't tell you about the Sporer and Wolf minimums that took place during the earlier periods of it. The three minimums got progressively "stronger", and there is a direct correlation between those and the lowering temperatures in that period of time. The coldest temps were associated with the strongest minimum.

...

I mean look at that. Wolf minimum, drop in temps. Sporer minimum, bigger drop in temps. Maunder minimum, bigger drop in temps.

So don't expect me to take what he's saying with any value. Either he's trying to mislead, or he's just not doing enough research.

The point the article makes is that solar variation has had much less impact on climate than recent human activities and so there is no reason to believe that a new solar minimum will affect climate in the same way past solar minimums seem to have affected climate. Moreover, we don't even know that we're headed for an extended minimum.