Skip to main content

I've been obsessively reading articles for weeks on this topic and I just don't know what to think.  I 100% believe mankind contributes to global warming.  I despise the deniers for being crass knee-jerk political hacks trying to defend their traditional corporate allies, the petrochemical industry.  

I just want to know if this solar maximum stuff could really eclipse the effects of global warming and perhaps become as much a threat as global warming and induce another "Dalton Minimum" or worse anther "Maunder Minimum" or Little Ice Age, graph of that in worldcrops.com link below.  

If anyone decides to jump in and I'm just wrong here, I ask for basic respect if you're going to shoot this down.  I apologize in advance if I am just naive.  I am not a scientist by any means.

According to Dr Frank Hill, associate director of the US National Solar Observatory’s (NSO) Solar Synoptic Network, evidence from three sources suggest that the sun may be headed for a lengthy period of slowing activity. Hill observes, “If we are right, this could be the last solar maximum we’ll see for a few decades. That would affect everything from space exploration to Earth’s climate.” And the implication of this for agricommodities – if past precedent is anything to go by – is worrying.

http://www.worldcrops.com/...

My bold.  That past precedent being the Maunder or Dalton Minimum when things got very cold.  Keep in mind that we're also past due for another regular Ice Age... IIRC history shows 100,000 year ice ages for every 10,000 year warm age.

In June at the annual meeting of the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), it was announced that studies suggest that the next solar sunspot cycle, due to begin in 2019, “will be greatly reduced or may not happen at all.” Climate change sceptics leapt upon this bombshell as evidence that rather than worrying about the earth getting hotter, we should be more concerned about it getting colder. It’s an uncomfortable truth that, as far as vegetation is concerned, a slightly warmer climate is generally to be welcomed; but a cooler planet would spell extremely difficult times for both farmers and food consumers.

Now here's the item I have latched on in my head:  no solar jet stream indicator

What’s interesting is that Cycle 24, which started in January 2008, is already the least active since Cycle 6, which ended in 1823. Cycle 25 is due to start in 2019, but Hill’s findings suggest that no new cycle is on the horizon – there ought to have been evidence of a change in the jet stream as far back as 2008, but as yet this has not happened. The longer we go on without signs emerging of a change in the jet stream, the more ‘confirmable’ will be the probability of either a very diminished, or indeed absent, Cycle 25.

http://www.worldcrops.com/...

This article also talks about the jet stream:

The streamers normally become busy around the sun's poles a few years before peak solar storm activity.

That 'rush to the poles' would have happened by now, but it hasn't and there's no sign of it yet. That also means the cycle after that is uncertain, he said.

Matt Penn of the National Solar Observatory, another study co-author, said sunspot magnetic fields have been steadily decreasing in strength since 1998.
If they continue on the current pace, their magnetic fields will be too weak to become spots as of 2022 or so, he said.

Jet streams on the sun's surface and below are also early indicators of solar storm activity, and they have not formed yet for the 2020 cycle. That indicates that there will be little or delayed activity in that cycle, said Hill, who tracks jet streams.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...

That bolded part is what I haven't been able to find more updated information about.  Does anyone know more information on that?  

More:

Even though the Sun has been active recently as it heads towards solar maximum in 2013, there are three lines of evidence pointing to a solar cycle that may be going on hiatus. They are: a missing jet stream, slower activity near the poles of the sun and a weakening magnetic field, meaning fading sunspots. Hill, along with Dr. Richard Altrock from the Air Force Research Laboratory and Dr. Matt Penn from the National Solar Observatory independently studied the different aspects of the solar interior, the visible surface, and the corona and all concur that cycle 25, will be greatly reduced or may not happen at all.

http://www.universetoday.com/...

Ok so that hasn't happened in modern history right?  

Since the Maunder Minimum right?  

I just don't understand how this topic doesn't weigh heavily on any discussion of climate change at this point.

That said, this other article below about the Maunder Minimum from universetoday.com corroborates what I've read elsewhere:  climatologists are extremely hesitant to include solar activity in their predictions on climate change.  But most also hedge on that topic from my reading and say that the Maunder Minimum and other periods of low sun spot activity present very compelling evidence that it SHOULD be considered.

The effects of solar activity, much less the extent of it, to climate change is not well established. However, there are those who suggest we should look at other causes of climate change other than greenhouse gases, and solar activity is one of the alternative candidates

http://www.universetoday.com/...

I found a disturbing diary on possible geomagnetic storm predictions from our current Cycle 24 by Hounddog but I didn't see any other diaries on this topic of Cycle 25 and possible global cooling.  Repubs are latching on to this so I wanted to get some perspective from fellow progressives that are smarter than me.

Our current Cycle 24 is still described as the weakest solar maximum in decades, which looks to support the evidence that Cycle 25 might be a bust.  Could this neutralize global warming?

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    Stop Prohibition, Start Harm Reduction

    by gnostradamus on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:29:01 PM PST

  •  It Can't Neutralize Ocean Acidification (8+ / 0-)

    Which at some point could take us down maybe a billion human lives, even if the rest of climate change was put on postpone.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:33:19 PM PST

    •  Well, you guys are selective with your problems. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany, in the Trees

      The mass extinction will continue because it is not climate driven; it's development driven.

      But hardly anyone, even not too many liberals, get uppity over the extinction of flowers and frogs and birds and orangutans.

      An Eleanor, not Franklin, Roosevelt Democrat.

      by Nulwee on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:36:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i care (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee

        i was so upset about it when i was in my 20's and i hated how mankind treated itself and the earth so much that i feel, in retrospect, that i tried to kill myself on drugs.  mostly what i hated and still hate is the vile attitude of repubs on climate change.... they literally enjoy gluttony and raping the earth because it enrages liberals.

        events got me out of that way of thinking (self destruction) eventually....

        i just discovered this topic and would like to know how it will factor in to the climate change debate.... it being we're reality based and all.  it probably needs to be in the debate.  

        wingers can't deny that peak oil necessitates stopping the earth rape... so i don't think this will really affect the debate on fossil fuels use much:  it is running out.  

        Stop Prohibition, Start Harm Reduction

        by gnostradamus on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:57:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What On Earth Are You Talking About? nt (0+ / 0-)

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:17:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I Don't Want To Speak For Nulwee, But... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deep Texan

          he/she appears to be talking about how human development by its nature takes up habitat space that was originally occupied by other species, thus we will continue to have fewer species regardless of cimate change or ocean acidification.

          We can build solar fields and wind farms until we don't need oil, but we will continue to wipe out species after species.

    •  perhaps it could slow acidification though (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Saint Jimmy, Cassandra Waites

      there are many ironies if this really happens:  global warming might stave off the cooling but we would still need to conserve energy supplies to heat homes.... and this certainly can't neutralize peak oil.

      Stop Prohibition, Start Harm Reduction

      by gnostradamus on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:41:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bah, sunspots! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karl Rover, dougymi

    You want to really worry about a little Ice Age worry about the North Atlantic Halide Conveyor shutting down from glacial runoff from Greenland. If that shuts down the Gulf Stream stops bring warm water to northern countries like Iceland, England and there really could be a chill in the air.

    Global warming is a general trend, the reality is we've broken the sky and the climate is going to get "interesting" in the next few decades. I don't think the solar effect will be significant compared to the anthropomorphic release of CO2 and other green house gasses into the atmosphere.

    Compassionate Conservatism is letting all the bridges collapse so you won't have to live under one after losing your home when they cut off your unemployment insurance.

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:38:01 PM PST

    •  solar minimum divine internention perhaps? (3+ / 0-)

      :)

      you have to admit, the timing of this solar minimum happening is amazing considering how mankind has f-ed up the world.  we are in agreement on that.

      i have read on the gulf stream slowing... one would think that global cooling would fix that since greenland would refreeze and no longer insert fresh water in the ocean...

      irony of ironies.  

      Stop Prohibition, Start Harm Reduction

      by gnostradamus on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:46:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Greenland could reverse it's melting ways but (0+ / 0-)

        once the conveyor shuts down there is no guarantee it would start up again the same way. I'm sure some new halide system would emerge but what would it look like? And I really don't give much stock to "divine" providence. If there were any it'd have long ago done something to either fix this mess or wipe us out before we fucked up things so badly. No, this one is on us.

        Compassionate Conservatism is letting all the bridges collapse so you won't have to live under one after losing your home when they cut off your unemployment insurance.

        by ontheleftcoast on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:03:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  you gotta admit: the solar minimum timing is eery (0+ / 0-)

          Stop Prohibition, Start Harm Reduction

          by gnostradamus on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:05:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Coincidence isn't eerie to me (0+ / 0-)

            And A Seigel has a diary about about something 100X (OK, only 25X) worse than CO2. The permafrost in Siberia is melting and releasing huge amounts of CH4 into the atmosphere. As I hinted it is a much, much worse greenhouse gas (it traps roughly 25X the heat of CO2) and the effect is likely to provide a feedback loop of the worse possible sort. More warming releases more gas which creates more warming... Sunspots are nothing in comparison.

            Compassionate Conservatism is letting all the bridges collapse so you won't have to live under one after losing your home when they cut off your unemployment insurance.

            by ontheleftcoast on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:10:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  nothing in comparison? (0+ / 0-)

              read some more on the maunder minimum.... this article kind of explains how relatively small reduction in solar output affects climate on earth so dramatically.

              Dutch masterpieces from that time by Brueghel, van der Neer and others (Figure 1) show people skating on canals and rivers that almost never freeze today. Ice was so prevalent in northern seas that Inuit were seen fishing as far south as Scotland. Glaciers descended from the Alps, destroying outlying farms and threatening to crush whole villages

              http://www.giss.nasa.gov/...

              Stop Prohibition, Start Harm Reduction

              by gnostradamus on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:24:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Veeeery interesting... (0+ / 0-)

    We'll have to watch the cycles over the next few years to see what happens.  I've read about the Maunder Minimum and how devastating it was in Europe.  One of the magnificent things about nature is she seeks homeostasis.... if the earth heats up, some factor will cool it down and we humans, try as we may, probably won't exist long enough to see the completion of this process, like the extinction of so many species before us.  

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. – John F. Kennedy,1962

    by moose67 on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:45:23 PM PST

    •  yes very interesting indeed (0+ / 0-)

      but this solar minimum/ jet stream collapse has nothing to do with earth correcting itself... it is completely removed from what we have done to our planet. but the timing of this is ironic as hell.  at first it might seem like a good thing... until the northeast turns into a ginormous ice cube.

      Stop Prohibition, Start Harm Reduction

      by gnostradamus on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:50:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not the Sun (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Ashaman, Deep Texan

    Solar activity and Global Warming have been going in opposite directions for the last 30 years.

    •  Which Means the Warming and Related Phenoms (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ashaman, janislav, Deep Texan

      are actually worse than lately measured.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:18:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  huh? (0+ / 0-)

      this discovery of the solar jet stream only occurred this past summer?  yea there's been reductions in sun spot activity per my reading but this indicates a shutdown of teh cycle... something that hasn't happened since the maunder minimum, i.e. the last "little ice age"....

      Stop Prohibition, Start Harm Reduction

      by gnostradamus on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:26:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One thing to keep in mind (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldpunk

    the lack of understanding, admitted to by the best in this area, makes predictions even concerning the current maximum highly speculative.

    It was not that long ago (months) that some were predicting that this current maximum might not start up but stay quiet.  

    The other thing to remember is that the frequency of activity does not necessarily correlate to the strength of individual events.

    One of the most powerful events to affect the earth occurred during a relatively 'quiet' maximum.  

    Good to keep an eye on these developments though.  Thanks.  

    Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

    by Into The Woods on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:21:55 PM PST

    •  i hear you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpunk

      but the skepticism from climatologists with including it in climate change debate is uncomfortable to me.... why won't they considering the history of the dalton and maunder minimums occurring during such solar minimums.

      so what you said is what i pick up from quotations from climatologists BUT the jet stream thing i emphasized in the diary seems different from the slow cycle 24 (which predictably preceeded the current cycle which obviously has started up....

      the difference for cycle 25 is the jet stream not doing its normal thing... that is what's so concerning compared to current cycle 24.  it's unprecedented in modern history, at least from my layman's point of view. thanks for commenting.  

      Stop Prohibition, Start Harm Reduction

      by gnostradamus on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 08:34:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which jet stream? (0+ / 0-)

        From what I remember, there was a recent 'discovery' of a jet stream on the sun that some thought might have been affecting (or somehow be related to) the absence of spot and flare activity at that time.  

        The 'normal' for something that recently discovered is pretty thin.

        The earth's jet stream is (so far as I know) not related to levels of solar activity in any way we know, or could measure or predict.

        The impact of the solar miniumums on global climate (and climate change) is something beyond my pay-grade.  

        I am not aware of the state of scientific consensus even on the historic occurrences and concurrent shifts in global climate.  

        Happening 'while' is not the same as happening 'because of' and I really don't know whether there is definitive proof or even settled opinion on whether a direct connection can be drawn between minimums and any cooling that was observed.

        You have to be very careful about distinguishing conjecture that indicates "this needs to be researched further" and proposed or accepted findings of "this is what happened and this is why it happened."  

         

        Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

        by Into The Woods on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 09:27:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Doesn't change the reality of CO2 warming (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    the fan man, gnostradamus

    This has always been a possibility and if we are very fortunate, the CO2 rise will coincide with a prolonged solar minimum.

    I've been hoping/praying for this.  Sometimes it is better to be lucky than smart.  We might get a pass for doing an incredibly ill-advised plant wide experiment.  It is awfully early to conclude this is what is going to happen.  Our sun-watching history is insufficient to even know how long or how deep such a minimum could be.  For all we know the cycle could restart with a vengeance, the confidence levels are not high.

    "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

    by Celtic Pugilist on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:16:07 PM PST

  •  The Cosmos must get a kick out of humans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    the fan man

    classifying its evolution as "good" or "bad".

  •  Previous articles I've read indicate this will be (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dot farmer, Ashaman

    background noise to global warming from GHGs. That is, it won't matter much.

    “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

    by the fan man on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 03:51:39 AM PST

  •  "Worldcrops.com", is virulently anti-global (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan

    warming website. I wouldn't use it to make your case. Many other sources for maunder minimum agriculture info.

    “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

    by the fan man on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 04:32:50 AM PST

  •  Oh, sigh (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, Calamity Jean, Oh Mary Oh

    I appreciate that you're -- reasonably -- not current on sunspots and climate, it's just tiring to deal with this one yet again.

    The key part of the solar activity variation is the sunspots.  It may seem strange that points where the surface of the sun goes black mean increased light/heat from the sun, but the increased light/heat around the edges of the sunspot more than compensates for the decreased light/heat from the sunspot itself. Therefore, more sunspots, more light/heat from the sun.

    Over the last 40 years, endless scientific study has clearly established that the effect of the maximum variation is less than 1 degree celsius, and pretty likely less than 0.1 degree celsius. In other words, it is much less than the Milankovitch cycle (less than 1 degree celsius) which for the last 1-5 million years has caused ice ages every 400,000 years, and much, much less than the 3-6 degree celsius effects of the doubling of carbon in the atmosphere (the higher figure here is because of the side effects of that doubling in some cases such as coincidence with the peak temps of the Milankovitch cycle -- our case).

    Because this apparent decrease in sunspots is happening while carbon in the atmosphere is increasing by 2-2.5 ppm per year due to human-caused carbon emissions, primarily from use of oil, coal, and natural gas, or about 1/2 % per year, all of the decrease in light/heat as the sunspots decrease (if they do) towards a minimum will be more than cancelled out by increased reflection of light/heat back to the Earth from the increased atmospheric carbon. On average, across the Earth, what you will see is a slight slowing of the increase in temps. And, a few years from now, what you will see is a slight speedup in the increase in temps.

    If you want to worry, worry about human-caused global warming.  Because that, from all I can gather, is far more dangerous in the long run, if we keep doing what we have been doing, than just about anything else -- including nuclear war.

    •  Plus, the low solar activity won't last forever. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      Eventually it will get back to being more normal, and if we haven't reduced the carbon content of the atmosphere by then, our geese will be too literally cooked.  We are too damned close to being cooked even if the sun's activity stays low.  

      Renewable energy brings national global security.      -6.25, -6.05

      by Calamity Jean on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 12:16:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  sigh back to you (0+ / 0-)

      i sincerely appreciate the reply but not the elitist "tired" tone....  i so appreciate you demeaning yourself to respond to such an underling as myself who --reasonably-- doesn't compare to your majesty.

      from my reading on this, many scientists say that this is so unprecedented that paraphrasing it will be interesting to see the outcome of this experiment.. so it seems to me that you're tooting your horn and degrading me while not acknowledging the nervousness of scientists in acknowledging this elephant in the room with climate change.... the potential huge effects this event could have on the climate is unprecedented... IT'S NEVER HAPPENED IN MODERN HISTORY.  you and i are both exercising pure speculation.  whatever.

      Stop Prohibition, Start Harm Reduction

      by gnostradamus on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 05:46:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  like these scientists (0+ / 0-)

      who refuse to say how solar activity affects global warming... yes i know the deniers hinge their whole denialism on this but what if this is true?  we could be saved... at precisely the right moment.

      There are questions about what this means for Earth's climate. Three times in the past the regular 11-year solar cycle has gone on an extended vacation - at the same time as cool periods on Earth.

      Sceptics of man-made global warming from the burning of fossil fuels have often pointed to solar radiation as a possible cause of a warming Earth, but they are in the minority among scientists.

      Earth has warmed as solar activity has decreased.

      Mr Hill and his colleagues wouldn't discuss the effects of a quiet sun on temperature or global warming.

      'If our predictions are true, we'll have a wonderful experiment that will determine whether the sun has any effect on global warming,' he said.

      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...

      I guess you must have a big sigh for those scientists who don't know what you know, without any attribution... maybe you should explain that there's no "wonderful experiment" to this whole business of solar minimums.

      Stop Prohibition, Start Harm Reduction

      by gnostradamus on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 06:12:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site