sun spot numbering

10 August 2015
Climate change

At http://phys.org/print358186778.html …. a few weeks ago we learnt that solar scientists had changed the way they recorded sun spot number and there was some speculation on why this was happening – or why it was happening in the weeks leading up to the Paris conference on climate change (where a binding agreement on emissions targets is the ambitious aim). Solar physicist Leif Svalgaard assured readers at WattsUp that it was all above board and the idea was to bring the methodology involved in counting sun spot numbers was uniform as in the past it was all a bit hit and miss. This made sense.

What a surprise. The link above takes us to an article that claims the new method has shown sun spots do not display any evidence of increased solar activity over the last couple of hundred years and therefore the Sun has a negligible effect on global warming. It is assumes, of course, that there has been global warming – others would disagree. The point is that it hasn't taken long for the climate change lobby to jump on the bandwagon in order to dismiss activity on the Sun as affecting global temperatures. This is of course total nonsense as the solar wind can pump lots of heat and energy into the atmosphere during CME events.

The article goes on to say there has been no significant upward trend since 1700 – in spite of the fact we have emerged from the Little Ice Age. The authors of the paper, which is another story aimed at the Paris conference and the activist faithful, is that the Sun is not responsible for a rise in global temperatures shown in the climate models. Apart from a big yawn there is not much to add to what is propaganda at the expense of a genuine attempt to bring harmony to sun spot counts.

At https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2015/08/08/corrected-sunspot-history-fai… … where the assumption is that there has been a modern solar maximum. This idea revolves around the low temperatures in the Little Ice Age and a jump to a conclusion that modern warmth is due to increased activity on the Sun. People with this point of view claim the Maunder Minimum was a cause of Little Ice Age low temperatures – yet the Maunder Minimum occupied a period when the Little Ice Age was already in a trough of low temperatures and was in fact coming out of the dip. The new sun spot methodology is a disappointment to people persuaded by the idea of a solar maximum in recent years as expressed in some of the comments here and at WattsUp.

The good news might be that sceptics will have to look around for other explanations for the Little Ice Age. Atmospheric loading is the most obvious one to look at – not just from volcanoes but from meteoric dust as the Earth passes through regions of space where the passage of comets have left trails of debris. I think it is long overdue that this was given some research as the first half of the 17th century was full of reports of transient phenomena in the sky and the appearance of large comets and meteor streams. It is this point when temperatures plunged – not somewhat later during the Maunder Minimum. However, the Sun is still involved in the temperature shift but only because a dust laden atmosphere (volcanic and meteoric molecules) creates an opaque sky which shades the surface from the full glare of the Sun.

There is now an update at https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/solar-hide-the-decline/ … it seems the PhysOrg article has a discrepancy. In order to get their claim of no solar uptick they have omitted sun cycles 23 and 24. Neat.

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