» Home > In the News

Conversation in a huff

25 July 2015
Climate change

The Conversation, a US politic rag that is a bit self righteous and 'right on' has apparently had a hissy fit. At http://phys.org/print356942688.html … we learn that one of its correspondents is not happy and is in denial that a sun spot minimum may cause lower global temperatures. He also claims that as we have so much more co2 in the atmosphere than we had back in the 17th century it is false reasoning to think a new Maunder Minimum necessarily means a return to a Mini Ice Age scenario.

Okay, the actual cooling in the 17th century was happening prior to the Maunder Minimum – and that is a fact. It is also a fact that the Little Ice Age was not universally cold. In some decades temperatures were about the same as today – but in other decades it was a great deal colder (which tends to suggest sun spots may not be all they are cracked up to be). What this does indicate is that in those decades when it was colder it was a lot colder than the average.

Sun spots, in the relevant article by Valentin Zharkova (see the post a few days back on the Sun and sunspots) were caused by orbital reasons (and there are various other theories out there that relate sun spots to the orbits of the other planets in the solar system). If so, that would suggest a lack of sun spots had nothing to do with the amount of energy released by the Sun – only the amount of activity that can be seen on the face of the Sun. However, The Conservation guy does not argue from that standpoint. He chooses to point out co2 levels are running high and therefore global temperatures are unlikely to drop to any great deal. He also points out the author of the article, Zharkova, did not mention climate in her presentation at the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno. She kept to solar physics and sun spot indexes. However, when she was interviewed in the media she was not fussed about sun spots causing temperatures to plummet, even though that was not part of her research. In other words, the CAGW people do not seem to have funded her research and there must be plenty of scientists out there plugging away without being tempted by the climate millions on offer.  

Skip to content