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Will the Sun give us a reprieve from global warming? by Fred Bortz
Tuesday, September 21st 2010, 8:57 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Something unusual has been going on in the Sun’s magnetic activity. For the last three centuries or so that we have been observing sunspots, we have seen a regular eleven-year cycle in their behavior. At solar minimum, sunspots are few and far between (sometimes totally absent). This has usually been followed by a sharp upsurge after about 16 months, but the last two cycles have been different.

According to the opening paragraph of an article posted at the Science Now website of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “Scientists studying sunspots for the past 2 decades have concluded that the magnetic field that triggers their formation has been steadily declining. If the current trend continues, by 2016 the sun’s face may become spotless and remain that way for decades—a phenomenon that in the 17th century coincided with a prolonged period of cooling on Earth.”

Later, the article notes, “Sunspots disappeared almost entirely between 1645 and 1715 during a period called the Maunder Minimum, which coincided with decades of lower-than-normal temperatures in Europe nicknamed the Little Ice Age. But [William Livingston of the National Solar Observatory in Tucson, Arizona] cautions that the zero-sunspot prediction could be premature. ‘It may not happen,’ he says. ‘Only the passage of time will tell whether the solar cycle will pick up.’ Still, he adds, there’s no doubt that sunspots ‘are not very healthy right now.’ ”

As expected, global warming skeptics are making a big deal about this report, arguing that this proves that solar effects are far more important to global climate change than human activity. If they are correct, does that mean we can continue to burn fossil fuels with abandon while atmospheric CO2 levels soar?

Click source to read FULL article from Fred Bortz
Source Link: fredbortz.scienceblog.com
Sunspots Do Really Affect Weather Patterns, Say Scientists by Ronald Bailey (August 2009)
Sunday, September 12th 2010, 5:10 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
A new study in the journal Science by a team of international of researchers led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research have found that the sunspot cycle has a big effect on the earth's weather. The puzzle has been how fluctuations in the sun's energy of about 0.1 percent over the course of the 11-year sunspot cycle could affect the weather? The press release describing the new study explains:

The team first confirmed a theory that the slight increase in solar energy during the peak production of sunspots is absorbed by stratospheric ozone. The energy warms the air in the stratosphere over the tropics, where sunlight is most intense, while also stimulating the production of additional ozone there that absorbs even more solar energy. Since the stratosphere warms unevenly, with the most pronounced warming occurring at lower latitudes, stratospheric winds are altered and, through a chain of interconnected processes, end up strengthening tropical precipitation.

At the same time, the increased sunlight at solar maximum causes a slight warming of ocean surface waters across the subtropical Pacific, where Sun-blocking clouds are normally scarce. That small amount of extra heat leads to more evaporation, producing additional water vapor. In turn, the moisture is carried by trade winds to the normally rainy areas of the western tropical Pacific, fueling heavier rains and reinforcing the effects of the stratospheric mechanism.

The top-down influence of the stratosphere and the bottom-up influence of the ocean work together to intensify this loop and strengthen the trade winds. As more sunshine hits drier areas, these changes reinforce each other, leading to less clouds in the subtropics, allowing even more sunlight to reach the surface, and producing a positive feedback loop that further magnifies the climate response.
Source Link: reason.com
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Global warming: Is the sun to blame? by Allan Taylor, Helium.com
Friday, January 29th 2010, 2:33 AM EST
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
I shall rephrase this question. Is the sun a major factor in causing climate change?

The answer is YES and I shall endeavor to explain the current thinking on the subject.

Global warming is now more commonly called "climate change", which can include global cooling. Also, I don't wish to blame the sun because it can't help doing what suns and planetary systems have to do, by virtue of their existence. Do we blame dogs for barking?

The correlation of sun spot activity to climate was first reported by Sir William Herschel in 1801 who noticed a relationship between solar activity and the price of wheat, from the data given in Adam Smith's book "The Wealth of Nations" published in 1776.
Source Link: helium.com
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Sunspots and Global Cooling?!?
Friday, May 29th 2009, 3:35 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
by Mike Hoffman

During the past year the sun has become VERY quiet. What that means is that the number of sunspots has dropped to levels that we have not seen in about 100 years. The sun goes through cycles of about 11 years, where the numbers of sunspots spike and then drop off again. Here is a link that will show you what I mean: http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/sun/sscycle.html You might notice a couple of things. Notice the low numbers of sunspots in the early 1800's. Do you know what the weather was like during this time frame? It was colder than normal worldwide. And during the 50-60 years before this graph there were almost no sunspots to speak of...that is called the Maunder Minimum, and it corresponds to the Little Ice Age. This would mean global cooling, which is scarier than global warming, although this trend of sunspots would have to continue for 50 years to approach something like that. So being the optimist that I am, I'm not worried yet. :)
Source Link: wndu.com
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