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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Sunspots and climate

I've been following the Wattsupwiththat.com blog for a year or so and have read the various posts regarding the climate. As you are aware I'm a climate skeptic. The climate is changing but I don't believe that it's down to the amount of CO2 being put into the atmosphere. The more people shout that the science is settled , the more I dig my heels in. It's too simplistic, and the time scale is too short.
I read a lot of history and this week I read about Eric the Red, who discovered Greenland and established a colony there that included a church that was part of the Bishop of Hamburg's diocese. They were able to live there for a couple of hundred years until it got too cold. Why did he name it Greenland? Because it was green when he discovered it.


The climate scientists are happy to discount stories like this. They conveniently ignore the well documented fact that there used to be ice fairs held on the frozen Thames in London in the 17th and 18th century. There have been warm period and cold periods in the past 2000 years of recorded history.
The earth's climate is controlled by the sun. That should be obvious. The planets that are closer to the sun are too hot for human life, and those further out are too cold. Everyone knows that.
The sun from time to time shows sunspots on the surface. Astronomers have photographed them and shown huge solar flares that sent heat and radiation deep into space.
Scientists and astronomers have been studying the sun for centuries, observing sunspot activity. It just happens that the times when sunspot activity was at a minimum coincide with below normal temperatures.
The Dalton Minimum, according to Wikipedia

The Dalton Minimum was a period of low solar activity, named for the English meteorologist John Dalton, lasting from about 1790 to 1830.[1] Like the Maunder Minimum and Spörer Minimum, the Dalton Minimum coincided with a period of lower-than-average global temperatures. The Oberlach Station in Germany, for example, experienced a 2.0°C decline over 20 years.[2] The Year Without a Summer, in 1816, also occurred during the Dalton Minimum.



Then there's the Maunder minimum


The Maunder Minimum (also known as the prolonged sunspot minimum) is the name used for the period roughly spanning 1645 to 1715 by John A. Eddy in a landmark 1976 paper published in Science titled "The Maunder Minimum",[1] when sunspots became exceedingly rare, as noted by solar observers of the time. Astronomers before Eddy had also named the period after the solar astronomer Edward W. Maunder (1851–1928) who studied how sunspot latitudes changed with time.[2] The periods he examined included the second half of the 17th century. Edward Maunder published two papers in 1890 and 1894, and he cited earlier papers written by Gustav Spörer. The Maunder Minimum's duration was derived from Spörer's work. Like the Dalton Minimum and Spörer Minimum, the Maunder Minimum coincided with a period of lower-than-average global temperatures.
During one 30-year period within the Maunder Minimum, astronomers observed only about 50 sunspots, as opposed to a more typical 40,000–50,000 spots in modern times.

So it can be shown that low sunspot activity coincides with low global temperatures. So what about the current cold weather? It's too early to say with certainty, but sunspot activity has been very low for the last few years. If we are indeed at the start of a new minimum period that could continue for many years yet.
As I've blogged repeatedly, we have more to fear from the cold than from the warm. We may yet find ourselves huddled around our gas guzzling cars trying to warm ourselves on the exhaust fumes.

I found this interesting link
http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/Solar_Cycles_24_and_25_and_Predicted_Climate_Response_22nd_October.pdf

It's titled " Solar Cycles 24 and 25 and Predicted Climate Response", and sets out all the relevant study of the effects of sunspot activity. It's a pity that the IPCC and the other warmists didn't read it before making their outlandish and alarmist fables about melting glaciers and drowning polar bears. If it gets as cold as it did in the 17th and 18th centuries, we'll be chasing them away from our rubbish bins, as they walked all the way from the artic on the ice cap.

It's funny what you find on the HM Government's website. Evidence that contradicts the government's own claims about global warming!

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