Tuesday, June 03, 2008


The Science Behind Sunspot Prediction

Belief in the idea that an ever increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere leads inexorably to an ever increasing warming of the globe requires a lot of willing suspension of disbelief. One has to ignore the Vostok ice cores which show CO2 rises after the atmosphere and seas warm from other causes, almost certainly sun related. One also has to ignore the cooling periods which have occurred as the CO2 steadily climbed, lately, in the 1970s and more recently, ever since 1998. The correspondence of sunspot activity to global warming and cooling requires no such suspension. The sunspot numbers go down, for example, and then Earth gets a lot cooler. The sunspot numbers go up and then it gets warmer.

Some scientists, and a growing number of them, are a little concerned that the sunspot Cycle 23 is lasting way too long, much longer than the average just over 11 years (usually a sign of lower numbers to come). The magnetic emanations from the sun have, according to the vaunted Canadian Space Agency remained low (in the upper 60s when 64 is as low as the number ever gets) and that means a 'quiet' sun, usually, as well. I guess we're officially still in Cycle 23. There was a Cycle 24 sunspot near the first of the year but since then there have only been a few late Cycle 23 ones and a few very tiny and short lasting ones which could have been Cycle 24, but it's hard to tell. The sun is clear today.

Now there is this paper. I can't pretend credibly to understand each and every word, but I can read what Anthony Watt says is the bottom line prediction. It's not good. And I say that not as a lover of warm weather, I'm not, but because the suffering and cost from even a 'mini' ice age is much worse than from the opposite amount of warming.


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