Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sun Spots

There's been a lot of "news" about "global warming." (I'm not a "true believer" in global warming, but will try to keep an open mind. At the same time, it seems to me that believers should also consider that maybe humans aren't all that powerful-- that maybe there's a power greater than mankind at work).

This isn't a scientific article-- there are plenty of experts and articles out there to support any argument. My goal here is to only list some things which have led me to question fashionable global warming propaganda. Basically, I ask--

(a) If the climate is getting warmer, is man responsible for the rising temperatures?

(b) Is the climate in fact getting warmer?


Previous Ice Ages. Has the earth gone through previous cooling and warming changes (including the extinction of animals) in other ages long before the invention of the automobile?

Consider the "Ice Age" and sabre tooth tigers and woolly mammoths. (See my post on "Dry Falls and the Marmes Man"). Did man cause those changes and extinctions? If so, what kind of automobile did the cave man drive?

As another more "recent" example, there was the "Little Ice Age" in northern Europe roughly between the years 1400 and 1850. Climatologists and historians do not agree on either the start or end dates of this period, but it is generally agreed that there were three coldest points-- on or about 1650, 1770, and 1850-- each separated by slight warming intervals.

The Little Ice Age brought bitterly cold winters to many parts of the world, but is most thoroughly documented in Europe and North America. It probably brought about the demise of the Norse settlements in Greenland.


What kind of automobiles did the Vikings drive? Saabs or Volvos?

Further, scientists have concluded that decreased solar activity was a contributing cause of the Little Ice Age.

Sun Spots. Could it be that "sun spots" influence earth's climate as many scientists have concluded after studying? Which is more powerful-- the sun or mankind? Politicians demand that humans stop "global warming," but can mankind influence the sun? What make of automobile stops sun spots?

Sunspots are dark planet-sized regions that appear on the "surface" of the sun. Sunspots are darker because they are colder than the areas around them. A large sunspot might have a temperature of about 6,700° F. This is much lower than the 10,000° F of the bright "photosphere" that surrounds sunspots. Some sun spots are as big as 50,000 miles in diameter and move across the outer surface of the sun, shrinking and growing as they go. (The earth is roughly about 8,000 miles in diameter. The earth's circumference is 24,000 miles). Sun spots are big.


The sun is about 70% hydrogen and 28% helium by mass. The remaining 2% is called "metals." In its core, the sun is slowly converting its hydrogen to helium. Conditions in the core are extreme, as the sun's density at the center of its core is more than 150 times the density of water. Lead is about 11 times the density of water.

The Sun's energy output is produced by nuclear fusion reactions. Each second about 700,000,000 tons of hydrogen are converted to about 695,000,000 tons of helium and 5,000,000 tons of energy in the form of gamma rays.

You've heard of the "hydrogen bomb" or "H-bomb." Such weapons are generally referred to as thermonuclear weapons and produce a large amount of energy through nuclear fusion reactions. The largest H-bomb ever detonated on earth (the Tsar Bomba of the USSR in 1961) released energy equivalent to over 50 megatons of TNT.

Many, many more nuclear fusion reactions occur in the sun every few seconds of every minute of every day of every month of every year, ad infinitum. That's a lot of energy.


Solar Flares. Sunspots are the planet-sized dark spots on the face of the sun, where the gases are cooler. "Faculae" are harder-to-see hotter spots on the face of the sun, also associated with sunspots. This faculae interacts with the magnetic fields of nearby sunspots. These intense magnetic fields penetrate the "body" of the sun to link the sun's interior to the surface. The results are solar flares, which are violent explosions in the sun's atmosphere releasing enormous amounts of energy.

Flares are powered by the sudden release of energy. The energy particles, x-rays, and magnetic fields from the solar flares bombard earth with a geomagnetic storm, which affects earth in many ways. The heat of the faculae more than offsets the cooler sunspots, so lots of sunspots mean a warmer sun. (And, we know from experience that a warmer sun affects our climate. E.g., when the northern hemisphere tilts away from the sun, it's not as warm-- it's a winter climate).

The sun's output is not entirely constant, nor is the amount of sunspot activity. There was a period of very low sunspot activity during the time period 1645–1715, called the Maunder Minimum. It coincides with an abnormally cold period in northern Europe sometimes known as the "Little Ice Age."

A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that there is a correlation between low sunspot activity and cooling temperatures.

Don J. Easterbrook is a retired geology professor at Western Washington University and recognized author. He is skeptical of anthropogenic global warming (i.e., "man-made" global warming). "If the cycles continue as in the past, the current warm cycle should end soon and global temperatures should cool slightly until about 2035, then warm from about 2035 to 2065, and cool slightly until 2100.


Weak sunspot activity correlates to colder temperatures on earth. In fact, low sunspot activity in the past has led to decades of extremely cold worldwide temperatures. Indeed, a lack of sunspot activity may already correlate to the global cooling of the planet seen in the last twelve months [2008]. Therefore, current sunspot inactivity may predict even more cooling of the Earth’s climate in the years to come. In fact, in the years ahead, the world may even experience the extreme global effect of a mini ice age.


Record cold temperatures have been set in many parts of the nation during the winter months of 2008-2009. Yet, we are told that global warming is imminent, requiring immediate drastic measures.

Perhaps we should keep our cool.

No comments:

Post a Comment