Sunday, May 04, 2008

A Spot Spotted

It looks like we may have a start to Sunspot Cycle 24. Space Weather has a nice picture.

Sunspot activity is thought to influence climate. A lack of sunspots during the Maunder Minimum is believed to have caused a Little Ice Age. There have been other such periods such as the Dalton Minimum.

If this is a weaker sunspot cycle than we have been experiencing lately we may be in for some very cool weather for a number of years. Gateway Pundit has been keeping track of unusual cold and snow incidents lately.

Some scientists believe the recent cooling (.3 to .4 deg C last year) is part of a 30 year Pacific Decadal Oscillation and that we could definitely be in for 30 years of cooling temperatures. Of course that could mean that the 30 years of warming we have recently experienced were the other phase of that oscillation as well. Kind of funny that an effect so well known (since 1996) was not included in the computer models until the recent cooling forced a re-evaluation.


LarryD said...

The first spot of Cycle 24 was on Jan 4th, 2008. This spot is the third of the new cycle.

Yeah, after four months we're only seeing the third spot now, the second spot was in mid April. And there was at least one spot still from Cycle 23.

American Thinker has an essay on the GW response to the current "temperature anomaly".

And the average of the four main metrics is 0.64 deg C cooler

M. Simon said...

Thanks Larry!!

I was a sceptic about the earlier spots.

As I understand it the next sunspot cycle doesn't actually begin until its spots exceed those from the previous cycle. Expected some time in 2009.

LarryD said...

It's not like you can draw a hard line between sun spot cycles, the tail end of one overlaps the beginning of its successor.

Early next year is when they expect Cycle 24 to reach significant levels of activity, that's when we'll really find out if Cycle 24 is as strong as some predict, or wimpy.

It could be very amusing watching the GW crowd trying to explain a cold spell that doesn't correlate with any of their explanations.