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Our Lazy Solar Dynamo — Hello Dalton Minimum? 571

tetrahedrassface writes "Solar maximum is supposed to be occurring, and everything from satellite communications to your toaster or radio could be affected. The only problem is that this just isn't happening, and NASA continues to revise downward the original prediction. In fact, the new forecast for Solar Cycle 24 is a lot smaller, and is now pegged at almost 40% of what was previously predicted. Recently, two scientists at the National Solar Observatory have followed the lead of a prominent Russian scientist, who almost five years ago forecast a dearth of sunspots and the subsequent cooling of Earth for the next several cycles. With Britain currently experiencing the coldest winter in over 300 years, and no new sunspots for the last week, are we heading for a Dalton Minimum, or worse still, yet another Maunder?"
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Our Lazy Solar Dynamo — Hello Dalton Minimum?

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  • by BoRegardless ( 721219 ) on Friday December 31, 2010 @05:59PM (#34724814)

    There were nearly no sunspots for 2 years, 2007-9 and that easily confirms we will have real hard couple of winters a bit later down the road. And then a remission of sunspots AGAIN just recently makes it look like we are "bouncing down" the activity curve, typical of a "cycle".

    Every time (since Galileo's time 1600) when we have had a minimal or near zero sunspot activity, there have been colder winters, freezing and storms. Hence we have about 400 years of well documented sunspot activity with weather records to verify what happened.

    It is amazing to me that out "news anchors", meaning writers in the "mainstream media" are so ill-educated that they can not do simple reading up on what the effects are of minimal sunspot activity.

    Instead "news anchors" and writers in the media spout political lines (Al Gore and global warming crowd), instead of pointing out specific facts and what those measureable facts mean short term (cold weather a year or so later) and what it could mean longer term.

    The last time I spoke with a person who ran the solar observations from the radio telescopes in the Mojave Desert, he noted they still were not able to predict longer term events as mentioned (Maunder or Dalton type events).

    Why are these events hugely important? I don't hear the news researcher/writers mentioning this. Sweden, Denmark and France lost 10% of their population to starvation/freezing in the Maunder minimum and Finland lost about 30%. That is the equivalent of losses in a major world war or WORSE.

  • by Vekseid ( 1528215 ) on Friday December 31, 2010 @06:02PM (#34724836) Homepage

    1) The sun is the biggest driver of the Earth's Climate

    This is like saying the Earth is the biggest driver of the Earth's climate. It's an essentially meaningless statement.

    2) There is already more than enough CO2 for a 'full' greenhouse effect so more will not make it 'worse.'

    You are simply lying with this one. A 'full' greenhouse effect would mean that 100% of heat is retained. That's impossible, but you can look at worlds where heat retention is in the 99% range, such as Venus.

    3) The Earth has been cooling since 2007.

    Bull [noaa.gov] shit [noaa.gov]. Even if it was true, climate is not weather, the same way macroeconomics is not family household planning. Climate change is measured across decades, not years.

    4) Current computer models of the Earth's long-term climate are not necessarily correct.

    This is irrelevant to historical analysis, which shows a clear warming trend across decades. But unlike yourself, scientists do endeavor to be honest, and refine their model as new data is available. Most excess heat is getting dumped into the oceans.

    There are others, of course, but you get the idea. Never say any of the above in the presence of believers.

    Because you'll get called out for being the liar that you are.

  • When has dumping a chemical into our biosphere such that it reaches many times the natural level been a good thing?

    Please give one example. I can site many, many cases where it was a bad.

    Well, The Great Oxygen Catastrophe [wikipedia.org] comes to mind.

    It was a very good thing for all of us oxygen breathing lifeforms...

    (Not such a good thing for lots of Earth's anaerobic life; It "was likely the largest extinction event in Earth's history" for them.)

    Not to worry: Life as a whole is far more resilient than any one strain of life, including that of our human race.

  • Re:So what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DeadCatX2 ( 950953 ) on Friday December 31, 2010 @06:34PM (#34725094) Journal

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

    This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

    The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement.

    We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

    - Dwight D. Eisenhower; excerpt from The Chance for Peace

  • by rbrander ( 73222 ) on Friday December 31, 2010 @07:03PM (#34725332) Homepage

    Right. Thanks for the link to the objective science site where paragraph 1 of the home page speaks of "rabid warmist claims"; I'm sure they'll be putting Nature out of the peer-reviewed paper business soon.

    To you and the guy below who wrote "PV = nRT", well, yes, if you rapidly compress a gas, it will heat up. Then it will radiate that heat away until it is back to the temperature of its environment. Otherwise, diver's compressed air tanks would be permanently, naturally hot all the time,, forever.

    Although crap does show up for short periods from time to time, I'm going to go with the Wikipedia article on Venus instead:
    "strongest greenhouse effect in the Solar System", just search down to that sentence.

  • by spitzak ( 4019 ) on Friday December 31, 2010 @08:28PM (#34725928) Homepage

    If the comparison period is changed each year to include the last year (ie 1880-2009 this year, 1880-2010 next year, which is what I think you are proposing) then you will get a mix between the values and the derivative of the values. This is useless as it is impossible to separate the data.

    Derivatives are useful, but to get them you would compare this year to a fixed-length period that moves (ie compare to 1880-2008, then 1881-2009 next year, etc).

    Both would help a lot by averaging together a fixed set of years around the current one to smooth the data. As these graphs are presented the noise makes it possible for anybody to make all kinds of wild arguments both for and against global warming since there are exceptional hot and cold spots.

    I suspect a longer fixed period would not make denialists happy. Moving the start back would then start to include colder years before 1940, thus making the warming today look worse. If you moved the end up to the present day it would reduce the apparent amount of warming, but then maps of older years would show they were much cooler than the present day average.

  • Re:No problem! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sjwt ( 161428 ) on Friday December 31, 2010 @09:11PM (#34726182)

    Lets pull out two real important facts that are used to bash this global cooling myth from that link.

    That the global data from the 1940s-70's was new, and not accurate enough to be trusted.

    That extrapolating a 50 year trend was not a good idea.

    Same two issues are still alive and well today for global warming.

    Man made or not, the climate has lived though a lot worse then we currently are in, do we want to push our luck before we know one way or another? my vote, hell no, we could be the 1c that dose push it over the edge, but all the global warming ppl need to get on the historical graphs that look past the current mini ice age and educate ppl that the current warming trend may be lasting longer and peeking longer then it should.

    We have the 2nd coldest peek for temp. in the last 500k years, but one of the longest running.
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ice_Age_Temperature.png [wikimedia.org]

    Its been pretty cold for the last 3 million years.
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Five_Myr_Climate_Change.png [wikimedia.org]

    Or 50 million
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:65_Myr_Climate_Change.png [wikimedia.org]

  • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Friday December 31, 2010 @10:34PM (#34726964)
    In particular, they are using mathematical techniques that were initially criticized by McIntyre (see the link above) and McKitrick. These criticisms were upheld and reinforced in the US Senate probe of the methods used by Mann and CRU to obtain their figures. Wegman concluded that the mathematical methods used by Mann, Jones, and CRU "do not support their conclusions". None of the six other statisticians who reviewed Wegman's report disagreed with that.
  • Re:No problem! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by superdana ( 1211758 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @03:04AM (#34728442)
    If it's important, I verify.

    The hell you do. Do you personally redo experiments that prove the effectiveness of medical procedures? Your faith vs. empiricism dichotomy is false. Nobody personally verifies every single thing they're told.
  • Re:No problem! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Burnhard ( 1031106 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @06:59AM (#34729150)

    It's not about science, it's... hell I don't know. Why are you so determined to ignore the science? Why do you trust scientists in other areas, but act like a medieval villager when it comes to climate research?

    To answer your first question, it's because it isn't really science; it's more like Astrology. The second question is easier to answer: wherever there are leftist activists - i.e. `post-normal' scientists who simultaneously decide which temperature stations to delete from their analysis and also go and get themselves arrested blockading power stations,then one can withdraw trust fairly easily. It's no different from, say, deciding not to trust medical researchers working for Glaxo. Physicists are a little different (and easier to trust) of course, because there's not really a political ideology that has as its central core theme the belief that a proton is made up of 3 quarks.

  • Re:No problem! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Burnhard ( 1031106 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @08:23PM (#34733784)

    Do you disagree with the reconstructions of the global temperature record?

    If you’re referring to hockey-sticks and the paleo-climatological record often used as “proof” of current exceptionality, of course I do. If you’re referring to the instrumental record, not so much (Hansen is clearly an outlier at present). I’m not disputing that it warmed by a small amount during the 20th century and has been warming since the end of the LIA. I don’t dispute that climate changes. The reconstructions I’ve seen show that current temperatures and trends are well within the bounds of natural variation (I’m especially thinking about the GISP2 Greenland and Vostok ice cores). There the debate should end. The rest is a hypothesis upon which you can have absolutely zero confidence, because historically temperature and CO2 haven’t correlated well and they don’t at present (again, PDO and solar activity are a stronger correlation). But still, you continue on with the paradigm. Why?

    The ensemble of climate models that predict a long term trend of increasing global average temperatures? The ocean circulation models?

    The model is programmed to predict a long-term trend of increasing temperature. I wouldn’t expect it to be “wrong” on that count. But let us take, for example, an economic model. You program it such that it has an inherent “bull market” bias. You make predictions. The predictions show an increase in stock prices. The market is going up anyway. They’re together in lock-step. Everyone thinks you’re a genius. As soon as the downturn comes, you look like a ****ing idiot. And so it goes with climate models. They are right until they start to diverge from reality and then they’re wrong, but as they’re continually being fiddled with, the projections of catastrophe are pushed further away into the future. What value do they have? None whatsoever as far as I can see.

    Perhaps you disagree with climate feedback models for polar ice caps?

    Clearly the polar ice caps aren’t ice-free today and, if the models of 5 years ago are correct, they will be ice-free by 2013 (in the summer). What do you think? 2 years to go.

    The volume of work and literature in this field is enormous.

    Yes and the volume of work and literature on the dietary causes of peptic ulcers was enormous. It was all bollocks of course, because someone came along with a microscope and found a little H. pylori.

    There is no one single "Theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming". There is a general consensus among thousands of researchers and scientists that all available evidence suggests increasing atmospheric CO2 will increase the mean global temperature.

    Of course it will. The debate is about how much. I suspect it’s a few tenths of a degree.

    However, if your underlying physical model is close to reality the long-term behavior will be statistically similar.

    My mistake. I’m slightly dyslexic, so sometimes misread words. The point I’m making here is that this whole debate is over what the world will look like in 100 years time (or 200). Run your climate model backwards, with current forcings as they are understood and your best approximation of the current state, and tell me what the climate looked like 100 years ago, or 200, or 1,000. You can’t. The reason you can’t is because you don’t know the forcings with enough accuracy, you’re ignorant of the feedbacks, and you don’t have sufficient understanding of the interactions of the system as a whole. As an example, your model will probably hind-cast a decrease in hurricane activity, say, 30 years ago, because it’s programmed a priori

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton