Sunspot activity and effect on overall temperatures

General Discussions: ASK John: Sunspot activity and effect on overall temperatures

By fredster on Wednesday, November 05, 2008 - 09:28 pm: Edit Post

Hi John,

I tend to follow weather-related activity quite a bit. Recently one of my local meterologists made mention of the drop-off in sunspot activity from the sun. He went on to mention that earth has actually cooled slightly over the past 12-18 months and that the significant drop in sunspots might indicate the leading edge of a cooldown that happens to earth every few hundred years. Some of these cooldowns have been severe enough to have been considered "mini" ice-ages.

He also said that 2000-2006 was a period of significant sunspot activity which coincided with a time period when temps warmed slightly.

Since then I have done several web searches and have found blogs and articles by several meterologists that also support these beliefs and theories. It seems to be gaining support among more people.

So....do you have any opinion or observations on sunspot activity from the sun and it's impact on the planet? I recognize it's only an opinion, but I was (pleasantly) surprised by the number of people who are starting to take note of this.

Please note, no one has said that this is a cure-all to global warming, but, almost every person has pointed out that a mini ice-age would have far worse impacts on us than a gradual warmup.

Thanks in advance for sharing, I appreciate it.

Fred G
Rockford, MI (near Grand Rapids)


By admin on Thursday, November 06, 2008 - 10:29 am: Edit Post

Hi Fredster.

Years ago (10-20) this idea held little credibility in the scientific community. I even remember believing that the rather small percentage change in energy from the sun during high and low sunspot activity was not enough to cause a measurable effect on the weather on out planet.

I can say that ideas are changing with regards to this topic. I do not keep myself up to speed with all the latest research being done in areas like this, but will say that my mind is a whole lot more open to it's potential validity.

There are lots of climate abnormalities that have occurred on this planet that cannot be explained as of yet and the sunspot issue may just hold the key to unlocking some of those answers. Hopefully further research will be able to provide more information and perhaps some answers.

-John


By favoritos on Thursday, November 06, 2008 - 11:25 am: Edit Post

Man I love this site. An honest answer with no political undertow. John, you rock.


By fredster on Thursday, November 06, 2008 - 11:42 am: Edit Post

Hey John,

Thanks for responding, I appreciate it. I guess what got my attention is that the 'sunspot theory' is being pursued independently by various scientists, meterologists, etc. and most everyone is finding the data and current/projected results to be consistent.

....just when we think we've got it all figured out, along comes new information to challenge the status quo....

Thank again,
Fred(ster)


By mark_e_hastings on Thursday, November 06, 2008 - 02:08 pm: Edit Post

For what it is worth I tend to agree with the sunspot idea, but I am just a dumb mechanicel engineer that took thermodynamics 3 times and heat transfer 3 times. But if you think about the one thing that effects the earths tempature the most is the sun, the surface tempature usually drops and raises 20-30 degrees when the sun is hitting the surface and when it is away from the surface. And the tempature change from when the earth is angled towards the sun to away from the sun. So when you look at global warming from the aspect of the sun varying in energy released, it it would seem to make sense that the global warming or cooling has more to do with the sun than on with the amount of energy we can produce on earth or what ever gases that are in the athmosphire are holding or relaseing heat. So the sunspots and solar flairs would effect tempature more than any insolation layer of the gases in the athmosphire. Insolation just changes the rate that heat is transfired so if it takes less time to warm the earth durning the day than it will take less time for it to cool at night and vise versa.

Now don't get me worng on the fact that "green house gases" are bad for us, but I don't think that they are related to global warming as much as people want them to be. Their are other things like acid rain, pollotaints and various other problems with the gases.


By snowfan470 on Saturday, November 08, 2008 - 03:18 am: Edit Post

I've been following this whole sunspot thing for the past few months and I can say that I am a firm believer that the sun has an affect on earth's temperature.
Just read the following 3 articles and you'll see how it affects us.

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/10may_longrange.htm

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/08/29/2014-2015-these-years-are-a-repeating-them e-in-solr-forecasts/

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/livingston-penn_sunspots2.pdf


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