Articles Tagged "Peter Foukal"

Sorted by: Date Posted | Views
Did Quiet Sun Cause Little Ice Age After All? by Govert Schilling
Friday, May 27th 2011, 6:53 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
BOSTON—For decades, astronomers and climatologists have debated whether a prolonged 17th century cold spell, best documented in Europe, could have been caused by erratic behavior of the sun. Now, an American solar physicist says he has new evidence to suggest that the sun was indeed the culprit.

The sun isn’t as constant as it appears. Instead, its surface is regularly beset by storms of swirling magnetic fields. As a result, like a teenager plagued with acne, the face of the sun often sprouts relatively dark and short-lived “sunspots,” which appear when strong magnetic fields inhibit the upwelling of hotter gas from below. The number of those spots waxes and wanes regularly in an 11-year cycle. However, even that cycle isn’t immutable.

In 1893, English astronomer Edward Maunder, studying historical records, noted that the cycle essentially stopped between 1645 and 1715. Instead, the sun was almost devoid of sunspots during this period. In 1976, American solar physicist John “Jack” Eddy suggested there might have been a causal link between this “Maunder Minimum” in the number of sunspots and the contemporaneous Little Ice Age, when average temperatures in Europe were a degree centigrade lower than normal.

One might expect the absence of dark spots to make the sun slightly brighter and hotter. But the absence of other signs of magnetic activity, such as bright patches of very hot gas known as faculae more than compensates for this effect. So in fact, the total energy output of the sun is lower during a solar minimum. If the minimum is prolonged, as it was in the second half of the 17th century, the dip in output might indeed affect Earth’s climate.
Source Link: news.sciencemag.org
THIS ARTICLE CONTINUES
1 article found
showing page 1 of 1
« previous    1    next »
Articles by Climate Realists and Topics

» Recently used highlighted

ALL #-E F-J K-O P-T U-Z
Useful links
Disclaimer
  • » News articles may contain quotes, these are copyright to the respective publication which will be stated, along with a link to the source article where available.
  • » If you feel your copyright has been violated please contact us and the article will be removed or amended at your request.
Site Details
  • » Launched 15 May 2009
  • » Website Design by Mr Zippy
Climate Depot Feed
  • » Feed Error