Sun spots and Climate ... but what makes sun spots?

19 Apr 2012

At is taken from Germany's Die Kalt Sonne website which has suddenly become widely read by the general public following the success of the book of the same name, The Cold Sun. i) A Danish team from the University of Aarhus have published a study on climate in the journal, The Holocene. Stalactites in caves in China, Turkey, and the US were used as a proxy of climate over 10,000 years and the authors concluded solar variability has played a significant role. In ii) a Finnish study confirmed coupling between the Sun and NAO, NAO and temperatures = solar cycles and ocean cyles. They found temperature in the Baltic is strongly coupled to the North Atlantic Oscillation, or NAO, and then they asked themselves what was it driving the NAO? They found a statistically significant correlation between sun spot activity and the NAO index (and here we have another mystery).

At and we find ourselves back into the Barycentre discussion - resurrected from a thread at but clearly EM Smith is not so sure and does a bit of his usual digging around, coming up with some interesting parallels. For example, astronomers have found evidence of very large planets moving fast and close and causing their stars to be highly variable - yet the same people assure us and will not accept slower planets moing further out might also cause a star, such as our Sun, to vary. The difference is that the first example was seen in a telescope and is undeniable but the solar system example has yet to be verified and at the moment is anathema as far as solar scientists are concerned. In addition, EM Smith finds as he trawls further, Habibullo Abdussamatov, from the space research centre at St Petersburg in Russia, in a speech to a conference in Chicago (and there are two videos of his talk, in full) is predicting a cooling climate after 2014. HIs theory is that variations in the amount of solar energy driving global climate changes on a regular basis, citing the recent warming and the Little Ice event a couple of centuries ago. He also thinks changes in the solar diameter coincide with variations in the Sun's output - which is more or less what can be seen in the astronomers telescope where an exoplanet is causing distinct variations in its star. What else might be going on?

At where the pulsation are blamed on the presence of the large Jupiter like planet. EM Smith suggests angular momentum and magnetism are related and driven by electrical effects. He then suggests planets may stir solar angular momentum and that directly causes magnetic changes that propagate into solar diameter changes and change in activity. These include changes in the solar wind and changes in electrical flows. See also Richard Holle at but EM Smith adds that even the way out planets, such as Uranus, have plenty of angular momentum to exchange with the Sun and stir it all up. As the Sun is shifted around the barycentre, in jerk like fashion, it has changes of magnetism (sun spots) and output. No tidal effect is required (contrary to consensus solar physics). So, is it the planets orbiting the Sun that create the sun spots?

At there is an image of the Sun spitting out a coronal mass ejection on April 15th. It is a burst of solar activity clearly seen by the STEREO B spacecraft - which captured the image. It was directed away from the Earth so will not affect the weather, earthquakes, the jet stream, or anything else on or near the surface of our planet. In fact, Piers Corbyn has predicted a cold May (see - even sleet and snow. Somebody on the Daily Express has been reading his web site as it is splashed all over today's front page (as well as other predictions from other weather companies). Looks like we might have had our summer in March this year - and yes, it's raining. Just had to after the drought measures were put in place.