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Low Sun activity does not diminish warming effects – so it would seem

7 October 2010

At www.nature.com/news/101006/full/news.2010.519.html … a paper in Nature shows that recent low activity on the surface of the Sun does not correlate with cooling. In fact, the amount of visible light reaching the Earth increased which by itself was a big enough factor to lead to further warming at the surface of the Earth. Lots of people are a bit bemused as it has been the consensus view for some time that low sun spot activity equals cooling weather on earth. This is based largely on the fact that the Maunder Minimum, when there were no sun spots for a considerable number of years during the back end of the 17th century, appears to coincide remarkably well with the Little Ice Age – a period of lower global temperatures that witnessed a sharp growth in mountain glaciers. Well, the latter is not happening at the moment, rather the reverse – so these finding should not have come as such a big surprise. It may simply be an accident that the Maunder Minimum coincided with the back end of the Little Ice Age. In fact, scientists should have looked at the numbers more closely as the coldest part of the Little Ice Age was around 1640/1AD – some years before the Maunder Minimum. The authors of the study also express surprise, commentators at a variety of blogs think the findings are confusing – and indeed, expect them to be overturned at some point in the future. Why? The study, over a short period admittedly, coincided quite clearly with a phase in which sun spot numbers were rare – and for months there were none at at. I suggest the study is conclusive and it is the consensus model that is in error. The study even points out the anomaly – laying stress on the fact that visible light reaching the surface of the Earth increased. Obviously, in the 17th century an opaque sky was the factor – inhibiting the ability of the Sun to warm the surface of the Earth. This is precisely what Dr Victor Clube suggested over 20 years ago – the Civil War period in England (as well as rebellions in Ireland and Scotland) coincided with a ‘running sky’ – a spate of meteoric activity that led to an accumulation of dust and debris in the upper atmosphere, causing a veil. In some decades the atmosphere cleared and weather normalised, but in other decades meteoric showers were common and the weather became very cold – especially in the winters. This is patently not happening and AGW sceptics that expectantly think lack of sun spots is going to lead to a sharp fall in global temperatures, are it seem barking up the wrong tree. This study is however doubly useful. As the Earth goes into a 30 year cooling phase (not a great deal of cooling actually) the AGW crowd might have been tempted to blame it on to sun spots – or the lack thereof. This study represents an argument to refute such a change of tack if it becomes necessary – not that the alarmists are bothered by the science.

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