9 Feb 2010

Daily Galaxy January 25th ... several leading astrophysicists believe there was no Big Bang to bring the universe and time into existence. Instead, they think we are trapped in a thin membrane of space-time embedded in a much larger cosmos from which neither light nor energy can escape - apart from gravity. Accordingly, dark matter is just the rest of the universes that we cannot see because light cannot escape. Neat. January 7th ... an international research project involving the University of Adelaide has revealed the magnetic field in the centre of the Milky Way is ten times stronger than at any other point in the galaxy. The strength of the field is important as all space is magnetised, the article continues, and the finding will eventually change opinions on star formation theory to cosmology fundamentals. The problem is that it is thought the magnetic field was weak during the early universe so how did it get stronger? The energy within the Milky Way appears to be concentrated in less than 0.1 per cent of it's volume.

C02 Science Magazine June 12th 2002 ... although this is an old story it may impact with the above. In 1991 Lawes and Friis-Christensen demonstrated a close correspondence between mean surface temperature and the length of the solar magnetic cycle. This included the 11 year periodicity characteristic of sun spot sequences and the 22 year oscillation of magnetic polarity (cool periods followed by warm periods). It is thought we have just entered a 22 year cooling cycle so this is relevant to the present. The authors claim they also found evidence of a 420 year cycle (Stuiver et al 1989) and the 1500 year cycle (Bond 2001) and it seems there is also another solar cycle rarely commented on (solar magnetic activity on a 100,000 year cycle). The bottom line of the research is that although the conventional theory is that Milankovitch cycles drive the Ice Ages the Sun might instead be the driver, via the amount of energy it releases. It is thought the production of 10Be in the atmosphere is affected by the intensity of magnetic activity near the surface of the sun as well as earth's geomagnetic dipole strength. There are significant periods of both enhanced and reduced solar activity and these correlate with the marine sediment 100,000 year cycle (from oxygen isotopes of plankton shells). It has been shown by Mukal Sharma that the earth experiences a warmer climate whenever the sun has been magnetically active. It was also found the peak of the last Ice Age coincided with a suppression of solar activity (it is assumed it was the sun itself that was less active rather than any other factor). Sharma's analysis and hypothesis pointed the finger at the sun as the cause of recent global warming but this research was ignored and buried beneath endless AGW hype in the intervening years between 2002 and the present. It is a quite interesting theory as it stands as Lawrence Dixon at the SIS autumn meeting in 2006 gave a talk, Plasma Events in the Solar System in the 20th century which involved active outbursts from the sun's surface that just happen to coincide with the peak years of the recent warming event.