Thursday, March 06, 2008

No Sunspots. Hello Next Ice Age ?

I'm leaving the snow for a week to soak up some sunshine. I've been hearing some interesting things about our sun and the lack of sunspots. Apparently,some solar scientists are beginning to think we may be entering a phase of lower solar luminosity. SUNSPOTS seem to play an intrinsic roll in this. The Earth may be headed for a cooler period; possibly a much colder weather cycle over the next decades.

Sunspots are very interesting phenomena
that peak in numbers and diminish again in 11 year cycles on average.

Scientists at NCAR think that cycle 24 is delayed
and actually think that may herald a stronger than average solar cycle. It's getting late. They said the sunspots would materialize by 2007 or early 2008. The sunspots still haven't materialized. Watch this image updated daily by SOHO.

Kenneth Tapping, a solar researcher and project director for Canada's National Research Council, is among those looking at the sun for evidence of an increase in sunspot activity.

Solar activity fluctuates in an 11-year cycle. But so far in this cycle, the sun has been disturbingly quiet. The lack of increased activity could signal the beginning of what is known as a Maunder Minimum, an event which occurs every couple of centuries and can last as long as a century.

If sunspots don't materialize in the next few months - we may be headed into weather that will make this last winter seem wimpy. The upside of a long-duration minimal sunspot period is that it will put the brakes (big time) on global warming.

The downside is the prospect of another mini-ice age. If sunspots don't show up pretty soon - I'm going to start shopping for swampland in Florida.

Pray for sunspots.

LATEST BREAKING NEWS! This teeny spot on the far side of the sun could be the first sunspot of cycle 24!


threecollie said...

What a great post! I can't wait to read the stuff on your links. I dread even the idea of it getting colder. Too hot is unpleasant, but too cold...I am shuddering even now!

Cathy said...

Thanks, honey. I hoped I could post this and manage to dodge the politics. I mean global warming can be a real (pardon the pun) 'hot' button topic. They are worth a read. It is a fascinating subject and the best minds can't agree.

Larry said...

I'm always interested in science but skeptical.-The sunspot thing is something interesting that I haven't heard of before.-I've never really doubted or completely bought into global warming.-When doctors said eggs will kill you-I kept on eating them.-They changed their mind but there was very little publicity about it.-I'm always interested in science stuff though-so thanks for the informative post.

Cathy said...

Alright Larry!
My fellow eat-the-eggs-and-to-heck-with-the-eggsperts.

They've whip-sawed all over the map on the hormone replacement thing, too. (Not that 'that' is a concern of yours;0)

I guess the message is: live, be happy, don't do stupid things.

nina said...

You always find interesting things to pass on.
I'd be pleased to think the sun could turn global warming around--but I don't suppose WE could ever get it to set the thermostat just right!
What a choice...hmmm.

Cathy said...

Oh you are so right Nina! My husband and I can't agree on the thermostat setting. I do remind my friends that Toledo was under a mile of ice ten thousand years ago. I'm not exact on the stats, but you get my drift - it's always been about change and the fact the we humans keep adapting.

KGMom said...

Hmmm--Cathy--methinks you have some inside info on this sunspot business.
Very interesting. The more we know, the less we know--eh?
As a cold weather enjoyer--I say bring it on! Cold weather, that is.

mon@rch said...

Wonderful post and I have found sunspots to be very interesting! Thanks for sharing!

Mary said...

Oh, boy... When I read, "Perhaps the lateness of cycle 24 might even be the start of another Little Ice Age." Those last three words scared me. I'll start browsing Florida real estate, too!

Thanks for a great post, Cathy. I bookmarked the sunspot!


Beth said...

Living in Florida already...I would look forward to cooler temps... at least in the summer. Me thinks you need to come'on down!


Floridacracker said...

Enjoy your warm journey! Very interesting solar post!

RuthieJ said...

Sunspots or not....Please soak up some sun & warmth for me too, Cathy!

Laurie said...

My brother was talking about this a few days ago. Very interesting post, Cathy.


The Texican said...

Please don't tell Al Gore. First he found out he really didn't invent the internet and now no global warming, how will he survive?

tiger said...