There is(n't) a Little Black Spot on the Sun Today...

The Wedge's picture

Where are all of the sunspots? We should have begun a new solar cycle in late 2007 or early 2008, and a small sunspot with the correct polarity was discovered early this year. That should have been the beginning of the new solar cycle and a ramp up of sunspot activity. And yet, nothing. So far, the sun has been spotless at least 242 days this year. Taken with last year's data, the sun has been spotless for 485 days. This is unusual and has caused the NASA models to be re-calibrated two times. They now are predicting that the sun will not begin a new cycle until mid to late 2009 or early 2010.

Sunspot activity may drive climate change on Earth, and a simple graphical analysis can show a possible causal relationship. Since sunspot records have been tracked since the early 1600's, they can be ploted over time and patterns of increasing and decreasing activity, called a solar cycle, can be graphed. Since 1950, there have been 6 solar cycles. The peaks of 5 of these modern cycles are historical highs. Can the sun be a primary source of climate change? If so, does increased sunspots cause a warmer Earth? And corresponding lower sunspot activity bring in cooler temperatures?


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The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 8:10pm.

Solar Cycle 24 was supposed to be up and running. Since there are still no real sunspots, we really can't tell if a new cycle has started yet. We are hitting over 13 years on a cycle that is normally 10 to 11 years. What does this portend for us? The Canadian Aurora Borealis tourism is dead because the requisite solar activity has been unusually quiescent. What will this mean for us? A maunder or Dalton minimum. Cooling?

S. Lindsey's picture
Submitted by S. Lindsey on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 8:28pm.

Many Scientist are backpedling as fast as they can from the Man-Made Warming effect.. That big bright HOT thing in the sky just might have more to do with Global Warming then previously thought.. REALLLY..who woulda thunk it.. The SUN warming the Earth.. WOW what a fantastic concept.. Sarcasm aside the Solar cycle that we have been in is still on-going and shows no signs of changing anytime soon.. Many of the alarmist that were saying we were gonna burn baby.. are now speculating that we might be in for another mini-ice age.. but don't worry we are already hearing Global Cooling is going to be caused by Global Warming.. or the other one is.. Global Cooling would have been much worse if not for Global Warming... So which is it.. Bad, Good, Bad again which is it???

I will not lower my standards.. So UP YOURS.. Evil


sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Thu, 12/18/2008 - 2:05pm.

I'm doing this from memory, but if I recall sunspots are on a 10-11 year cycle. I know we were due for a cycle this year because I vividly recall the summer of 1997 when the bad-old-days of analog cell phones had horrendous amounts of dropped calls due to sunspot activity! Sticking out tongue

I don't doubt that sunspot activity has SOME form of impact on global warming, the true question is HOW MUCH impact it has. Cosmic rays, ultraviolet rays and sunspots/solar flares impact the cloud cover. My feeling is that all of those variables together might have a 10 to 15% overall impact....I'm blue-skying (pun intended) here. I continue to believe that greenhouse gasses, in particular man-made greenhouse gasses, constitute the vast majority of adverse impact regarding global warming.

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Thu, 12/18/2008 - 3:58pm.

I can do quick research to determine the greenhouse gases- CO2, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, etc. Water Vapor far outweighs the others, somthing like 95% of the greenhouse gases. Most studies do not factor water vapor as a greenhouse gas. I do not know why.
I am a nautrally cynical person.
I struggle with Stephen Schneider (early AGW advocate) in Discover Magazine in the 80's where he writes: ""We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest."

I also struggle with Al Gore when he states "Nobody is interested in solutions if they don't think there's a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous (global warming) is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are..."

Or even Christine Stewart, Minister of the Environment of Canada, when she states "No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits.... Climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world."

I also struggle with AGW explaining the Viking Settlements and farming on Greenland from around 1000 to the 1300's.

The nice thing about this debate is that the reality will be soon upon us. The climate has never historically remained the same. It has had wide fluctuations over the human record. It has been warmer than it is now. How did the polar bears survive back then?

carbonunit52's picture
Submitted by carbonunit52 on Thu, 12/18/2008 - 9:15pm.

It is true that the earth has been warmer in the past. Now, on to the main issue which is still pollution. One can argue about CO2 and its role in global warming, but you cannot deny the fact that because of the increase in CO2 the oceans are becoming more acidic.

"I can't wait until tomorrow, because I get more lovable every day."

Submitted by dollaradayandno... on Fri, 12/19/2008 - 8:22am.

All you say is probably correct--all of it.
But Rush Limberger says it all changes every ten thousand years or so into the reverse, no matter what we do!

He was probably there then, or someone like him, and should know.

Anyway one great big fireball from hell or heaven can hit us somewhere and mess it all up all at once nearly. Why worry about it!
Look what it did to the dinosaurs--wiped out the veggies and they died either from that or dust pollution--mesathelioma.
It could have been them big Raptors that finally got em, but I think Alley Oop and Ooola kilt them off to eat!

Anyways, If you have ever been in China or Taiwan and smelled the air, you would know that it ain't killin them yet. They is billions of them.
Of course they would be trillions of em more healthy otherwise but who wants em?

Submitted by Hey on Thu, 12/18/2008 - 1:54pm.

And I'll join in.....Thank you Wedge for this info. I was unaware of this. I thought sun spots were something you got on your skin.

TonyF's picture
Submitted by TonyF on Thu, 12/18/2008 - 1:17pm.

Your research seems a little "spotty".

"Your, yore, you're all idiots." (T.Floyd)

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Thu, 12/18/2008 - 1:48pm.

Thanks for Starting. I saw P.F. at OSU Stadium in 1988 or so. Good show!

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