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  1. #1 Rare Drop in Sunspot Activity Could Cause Little Ice Age 
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Wednesday, June 15, 2011 9:22 AM EDT
    http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/1634...le-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.
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  2. #2  
    Zoomie djones520's Avatar
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    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?
    In most sports, cold-cocking an opposing player repeatedly in the face with a series of gigantic Slovakian uppercuts would get you a multi-game suspension without pay.

    In hockey, it means you have to sit in the penalty box for five minutes.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Bailey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djones520 View Post
    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 :(
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  4. #4  
    Best Bounty Hunter in the Forums fettpett's Avatar
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    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
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  5. #5  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djones520 View Post
    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
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  6. #6  
    Zoomie djones520's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odysseus View Post
    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
    The only problem with that, is your backwards. The surface landmasses lose heat 5 times faster then the ocean floors would.
    In most sports, cold-cocking an opposing player repeatedly in the face with a series of gigantic Slovakian uppercuts would get you a multi-game suspension without pay.

    In hockey, it means you have to sit in the penalty box for five minutes.
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member Bailey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fettpett View Post
    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
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  8. #8  
    Grouchy Old Broad Kay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fettpett View Post
    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.
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  9. #9 Are we headed for a new ice age? 
    Senior Member The Night Owl's Avatar
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    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/ba...-a-new-ice-age
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Apache's Avatar
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