Quiescent sun

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An interesting post at Watts Up With That about the continuing dearth of sunspot activity: the International Sunspot Number has dropped below a mean of 1.0:

…running mean of the International Sunspot Number for 2009 just dipped below 1.00.  For anything comparable you now need to go back before 1913 (which scored a 1.43) which could mean we’re now competing directly with the Dalton Minimum.

Just in case you’d like another tidbit, here is something that puts our 20 to 30 day spotless runs in perspective… the mother of all spotless runs (in the heart of the Maunder Minimum, of course!) was from October 15, 1661 to August 2, 1671.  It totaled 3579 consecutive spotless days, all of which had obs.

The Dalton Minimum was a low in sunspot activity that lasted roughly from 1790-1830, coinciding with a period of global cooling within the overall Little Ice Age, which lasted from the beginning of the 17th century to the middle of the 19th. The year 1816 was called the "year without summer." And now, in this supposed crisis of anthropogenic global warming, we're competing with one of the lowest sunspot periods of one of the colder epochs in recent centuries.

Why is this significant? I think it is because I'm firmly of the belief that Earth's changing climate is more a result of cyclic fluctuations in the activity of the Sun than anything to do with "greenhouse gases." In fact, it is the theory of Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark that variability in the Sun's magnetic field influences the amount of cosmic rays reaching the Earth, thus affecting cloud formation and our planet's climate. The waxing and waning of the magnetic field correlates with the amount of sunspot production: strong when there are many sunspots being created, weak when there are few or none, as now. I do not think it a coincidence that the Earth has been in decade-long cooling period that has coincided with declining solar activity.

(Svensmark's arguments and evidence are detailed in his book, The Chilling Stars.)

It of course could be that climate change is driven by mankind's activities and we're heading for disaster, but I think the weight of evidence is against it and that the evidence for natural cycles being responsible grows more convincing with each passing day. And clearly we should not undertake any of the draconian, economy-killing regimes advocated by global-warming alarmists until they can produce something more than faulty computer models, bad temperature data, and predictions that don't pan out.

RELATED READING: Another good work for climate change skeptics is Singer and Avery's Unstoppable Global Warming: every 1,500 years. I'm awaiting with interest the US publication of Ian Plimer's Heaven And Earth: Global Warming – The Missing Science.

UPDATE: WUWT has posted asking for a name for what appears to be a new minimum, and provides links to articles showing that the MSM has finally begun to notice this inconvenient truth.

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One Response to Quiescent sun

  1. Sunday links fiesta

    It’s a busy weekend here at Public Secrets Secret HQ(tm), but I thought I’d point out a few links worth following: Gird Your Loins Watch: Is Pakistan in danger of collapse? Proving once again that appeasement is futile when the…

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