Jersey Palisades, circa 2036
Sunspots dwindling. Another ice age?
Odd that those precise computer models showing the exact date of the end of the earth don’t even consider solar activity, and stranger still that the warmists refuse to add them to their calculations now. Don’t confuse us with the facts, our minds are made up.
Washington (AFP) – The surface of the sun has been surprisingly calm of late — with fewer sunspots than anytime in in the last century — prompting curious scientists to wonder just what it might mean here on Earth.
[S]unspots appear in roughly 11-year cycles — increasing to a daily flurry and then subsiding drastically, before amping up again.
But this cycle — dubbed cycle 24 — has surprised scientists with its sluggishness.
The number of spots counted since it kicked off in December 2008 is well below the average observed over the last 250 years. In fact, it’s less than half.
“It is the weakest cycle the sun has been in for all the space age, for 50 years,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association physicist Doug Biesecker told AFP.
Cycle 23 hit its maximum in April 2000 with an average of 120 solar spots a day. The cycle then wound down, hitting bottom around December 2008, the point at which scientists marked the start of the current cycle.
The minimal solar activity at the end of cycle 23 led astronomers to predict a slow cycle 24. But the reality fell even below expectations.
In the first year of the cycle, during which solar activity should have risen, astronomers counted 266 days without a single sun spot.
The last time a sunspot cycle was this slow was in February 1906, the peak of cycle 14, with just 64 spots a day.
Some researchers speculate this could be the start of a prolonged period of weak solar activity.
The last time that happened, during the so-called “Maunder Minimum” between 1650 and 1715, almost no sunspots were observed. During the same period, temperatures dropped sharply on Earth, sparking what is called the “Little Ice Age” in Europe and North America.
As the sunspot numbers continue to stay low, it’s possible the Earth’s climate is being affected again.
And then, the obligatory nod to orthodox authority:
But thanks to global warming, we’re unlikely to see another ice age. “Things have not started to cooling, they just have not risen as quickly,” Biesecker said.