Thursday, January 01, 2009

Lowest Sunspot Activity Since 1900 Tied to Temperature Drop Over the Past Two Years?

The average temperature on earth has declined over the past two years by about half a degree Celsius - an amount that similar to the temperature increases reported over the past century.  This year may be the coldest on record in the past century.  All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) reported that during the period of January 2007 to January 2008, global temperatures have dropped significantly.   2008 has set a number of records for cold and snowfall.  In the U.S., NOAA recorded over 60 local snowfall records and more than 100 all-time low temperatures for the month of October.

This cooling trend - whatever its cause - was not predicted by climate models.  It was, however, predictable, at least according to some scientists who study sunspot activity.  Since 2000, sunspot activity has been in decline, and this year sunspot activity has matched an inactivity level not seen since the early 1900s.  The sunspot activity on the sun ordinarily follows an 11 year cycle where the activity peaks and then slows.  It isn't unusual to record 100 sunspots in a single month, and then as then cycle winds down, the number can decline to near zero.  Typically, a new cycle begins fairly quickly, but not this year.  Through July of this year the average monthly total  was three, and in August there were none recorded. 

According to the publication Daily Tech, over the last 1,000 years, there have been three previous similar events — known as the Dalton, Maunder and Sporer Minimums.  These events have each corresponded to rapid cooling. The largest came to be known as the Little Ice Age (1500-1750).  Geoscientists have found excellent correlations between periods of warming and cooling on earth and sunspot activity. 

sunclimate_3b

http://www.oar.noaa.gov/spotlite/archive/spot_sunclimate.html

http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7y.html

That is not to say that human activity is a non-contributor to global climate.  But it is interesting to note the sunspot activity and the apparent correlation to global temperatures.  It will be interesting and to see if this period of cooling is prolonged, and should it be, may be a hidden benefit in that it may offset some of the climate change predicted to occur in the next century, giving us an extension that seems to be much needed in reducing the impact of human activity on climate.

5 comments:

Tom Dayton said...

The graph of sunspots you show has turned out to be (wildly) incorrect. A few folks thought it was correct back in 2001 when the article you got the graph from was written. But the severe errors in the construction of the graph since have been corrected. For details and correct graphs see cce's The Global Warming Debate, scrolling down to the section titled Temperature Matches Solar Activity Exactly!. Go back to the top of that page to learn about the most recent and accurate data.

Michael Burt said...

You are correct that ONE of the articels listed was authored in 2001, but the rest of the information was from this year. I did rely on the Investors Business Daily Article on December 20, 2008, though there are many others dscussing this trend in 2008:
http://insciences.org/article.php?article_id=981
for example. What do you make of the sharp drop in sunspots just as we're seeing cooling? MB

Tom Dayton said...

There is no point in me trying to have a reasonable conversation with you until you make your page honest by replacing the factually and wildly wrong graph with a factually correct one as I suggested in my previous post.

Michael Burt said...

Actually, since you have decided to call me dishonest I no longer have any interest in having a discussion with you. I suppose the fact that I added your comments and the links they contain is not enough, I must alter my own post to reflect yours in order to be 'honest'?

By the way, you are the one using inflammatory langage, not me. You have resorted to ad hominem and usng adjectives designed to inflame (a thing is apparently never incorrect, or in need of revision or correction with you. Rather, apparently, it is 'wildly wrong'). People who are interested in 'reasonable discussion' don't begin by calling the other party names, and in polite society one generally doesn't seek to enlighten the unenlightedned by beginning with name-calling. I've posted your replies, why don't you go somewhere else where all the smart people gather and compliment themselves ontheir mutual correctness and agreement. If you'd like to reply and engage in a 'reasonable' discussion without the snotty, name-calling self righteousness, feel free. I won't hold my breath.

Chewie the furry Baen Sidhe said...

MB, I've got to agree with your response to Tom. Going off in a tailspin doesn't further any discussion. What's more, that graph does seem to match up with most of the graphs I've seen on the topic.

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