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babsbunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 07:14 PM
Original message
The missing sunspots: Is this the big chill?
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/the-missing-s...

Scientists are baffled by what theyre seeing on the Suns surface nothing at all. And this lack of activity could have a major impact on global warming. David Whitehouse investigates

Monday, 27 April 2009

Could the Sun play a greater role in recent climate change than has been believed? Climatologists had dismissed the idea and some solar scientists have been reticent about it because of its connections with those who those who deny climate change. But now the speculation has grown louder because of what is happening to our Sun. No living scientist has seen it behave this way. There are no sunspots.
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librechik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 07:17 PM
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1. Sunspots are cooler than the unspotted surface, so it's warmer thanusual actually.
But it is a little odd not having any. They may have to rethink the models.

But they have to figure out why before that.

This will take some time.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Sunspots are cooler but the overall sun is warmer
It mentioned in the article that faculae form when there are sunspots, those areas are enough hotter than the rest of the sun to more than offset the cooler sunspots.

Overall the sun is cooler with no sunspots.

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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. the spot is cooler, but the electronic mess and spew it tosses out
is huge and extremely hot. the bands and coils of star material that coincide with a sun spot include jets of material, stuff that would kill any astronauts should such a solar event strike a spacecraft or the ISS.
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walldude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 07:19 PM
Response to Original message
2. Today in Colorado it snowed a few inches this morning.
Right now the snow is gone and the sun is out and my kids just went to a baseball game. But don't worry the climate is fine :eyes:
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NeedleCast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 07:19 PM
Response to Original message
3. Aren't we near the trough in solar minimum activity?
I'm not sure why scientists would be baffled by this.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. No the predictions had the 11 year sunspot cycle we are in now peaking in 2011 or 2012
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8008473.stm

The Sun is the dimmest it has been for nearly a century.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009 06:04 UK

There are no sunspots, very few solar flares - and our nearest star is the quietest it has been for a very long time.

The observations are baffling astronomers, who are due to study new pictures of the Sun, taken from space, at the UK National Astronomy Meeting.

The Sun normally undergoes an 11-year cycle of activity. At its peak, it has a tumultuous boiling atmosphere that spits out flares and planet-sized chunks of super-hot gas. This is followed by a calmer period.

Last year, it was expected that it would have been hotting up after a quiet spell. But instead it hit a 50-year low in solar wind pressure, a 55-year low in radio emissions, and a 100-year low in sunspot activity.

http://thesop.org/index.php?article=5326

The next 11-year cycle of solar storms will start in March and peak in late 2011

Published: April 27th, 2007 05:14 EST

The next 11-year cycle of solar storms will most likely start next March and peak in late 2011 or mid-2012up to a year later than expectedaccording to a forecast issued by the NOAA Space Environment Center in coordination with an international panel of solar experts. The NOAA Space Environment Center led the prediction panel and issued the forecast at its annual Space Weather Workshop in Boulder, Colo. NASA sponsored the panel.

Expected to start last fall, the delayed onset of Solar Cycle 24 stymied the panel and left them evenly split on whether a weak or strong period of solar storms lies ahead, but neither group predicts a record-breaker.

During an active solar period, violent eruptions occur more often on the sun. Solar flares and vast explosions, known as coronal mass ejections, shoot energetic photons and highly charged matter toward Earth, jolting the planet's ionosphere and geomagnetic field, potentially affecting power grids, critical military and airline communications, satellites, Global Positioning System (GPS) signals, and even threatening astronauts with harmful radiation. These same storms illuminate night skies with brilliant sheets of red and green known as auroras, or the northern or southern lights.

Solar cycle intensity is measured in maximum number of sunspotsdark blotches on the sun that mark areas of heightened magnetic activity. The more sunspots there are, the more likely it is that major solar storms will occur.

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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
4. Last week here in the Bay Area we went from 100+ degree weather to 60s in 3 days
Then down into the 50s for a couple of days. Right now it's in the mid 50s. Both the heat and the cold are remarkable for this time of year.
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endarkenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
5. Some smart Brit answered this well.
The sun has been on a declining quiet spell since 1985, which is normally part of an 11 year cycle, which this time has gone on longer than usual. Despite this global temperatures has still increased, this is not because the activity of the sun has no effect, but because of increasing climate change and CO2 emissions. Global warming has slowed since the suns slump in activity, but still increased, so to say the sun has no effect is naive, its because the sun is quieter that we are not seeing worse effects, when it heats up again, we will be in trouble.

At the OP's link in the replies.
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. thank you, but don't you think it's God's revenge on those atheists banding
Edited on Mon Apr-27-09 07:35 PM by Gabi Hayes
together in South Carolina?

makes sense to me

http://www.geocities.com/presleyterian_church/home.html



there's good, hard science behind it, too:

Einstein almost got it right. His famous E-quation for his General Theory of Relativity, E = mc2, had only one mistake in it. The great scientist's error was in assuming that the letter E stood for Energy, when as we all know now, it stands for Elvis.

It's easy to understand where Einstein was led astray. When he first propounded his theory, it was 1915, and Elvis had not even been born yet. How could the great physicist know that the entire universe is powered by the gyrating hips of the King? The good professor could not possibly comprehend that in the Energy Department, Elvis had so much energy that He was like an E-ternal battery that just kept going and going and going and going.

Einstein may not have realized it, but the E-quation he came up with is fraught with symbolism that cannot escape the scrutiny of Presleyterians worldwide who realize that when you're talking about mass-times-the-speed-of-light-squared, you're talking about the King.

It's obvious that Einstein was describing the swollen, bloated Elvis of the Later Years, the Las Vegas Elvis, the Elvis whose mass increased exponentially almost daily and whose glittering sequins sparkled like a billion stars sending us their twinkling glow from across light years in space.

Unlike other so-called religions, Presleyterianism teaches us that there is no discrepancy between science and theology, no disparity between putting your trust in physics and technology or believing in Elvis. We Presleyterians embrace the flesh of Elvis in all its myriad forms, and we worship His Holy Twinity. Thus, the yin-yang relationship between the world of the flesh and the world of the spirit is not a conflict in terms for the true Presleyterian.

We of The First Presleyterian Church of Elvis the Divine are unlike those who follow the so-called religions that renounce any body of knowledge that doesn't fit into their tiny scheme of things. Presleyterians believe in E-volution, the inexorable movement of all life towards a more perfect state of being where we are one with Elvis, and we have no problem with it being taught in school. The First Presleyterian Church of Elvis the Divine never condemned Galileo for observing that the Earth revolved around the Sun.

On the other hand, Presleyterians have no patience for those who would deny the many miracles of Elvis, the skeptics who reject the notion that Elvis has transcended the flesh and is with us still.....



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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
10. It's too early to be talking about a new Maunder Minimum
but here's a discussion of the last one, 350 years ago: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maunder_minimum

Another one could buy us the time we need to get carbon emissions under control.
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