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WASHINGTON (AFP) – For years, scientists have been predicting the Sun would by around 2012 move into solar maximum, a period of intense flares and sunspot activity, but lately a curious calm has suggested quite the opposite.
According to three studies released in the United States on Tuesday, experts believe the familiar sunspot cycle may be shutting down and heading toward a pattern of inactivity unseen since the 17th century.
The signs include a missing jet stream, fading spots, and slower activity near the poles, said experts from the National Solar Observatory and Air Force Research Laboratory.
"This is highly unusual and unexpected," said Frank Hill, associate director of the NSO's Solar Synoptic Network, as the findings of the three studies were presented at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Solar Physics Division in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
"But the fact that three completely different views of the Sun point in the same direction is a powerful indicator that the sunspot cycle may be going into hibernation."
Solar activity tends to rise and fall every 11 years or so. The solar maximum and solar minimum each mark about half the interval of the magnetic pole reversal on the Sun, which happens every 22 years.
Hill said the current cycle, number 24, "may be the last normal one for some time and the next one, cycle 25, may not happen for some time.
"This is important because the solar cycle causes space weather which affects modern technology and may contribute to climate change," he told reporters.
Experts are now probing whether this period of inactivity could be a second Maunder Minimum, which was a 70-year period when hardly any sunspots were observed between 1645-1715, a period known as the "Little Ice Age."
Are they right? are we on the verge of a re-occuring ice age?
Dutch, here is another opinion:
"The linkage between solar activity and climate change is still a matter of scientific debate. And even if there is a link, it's not clear how solar-caused global cooling might interact with industrial global warming due to greenhouse-gas emissions. Climate scientists say the swings in solar activity that they've studied so far have had little or no impact on temperatures or other climate indicators - and they don't expect to see a big impact even if the sun goes quiet for a decade or longer.
But if today's forecast is correct, solar physicists and climatologists will have a golden opportunity to find out for sure."
http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/20 … -big-chill
I believe we had a very large sun flare a week ago according to ABC radio in Australia.
Apparently large enough to be a risk to communication especially towards the poles.
I think that not only the sun, but other heavenly bodies effect us in ways that we are not even close to being aware of. Gravitational pulls of planets, stars, the pull of comets and other orbiting bodies, and even stars that are so far away we think they cannot effect us. We will not ever know for sure, but if our moon, a place that is small in comparison to other things, can effect our tides to this extent, what other things effect us that we dont know about.
All good questions and interesting subject.
Some of the new science shows are beginning to give answers that can be understood thanks to the use of great graphics and keeping it simple for we lay people.
Quite exciting to me.
Me also, I am trying to bost my Telescope power, may replace it.
The Theory of a Quiet sun, and steady ray admissions, with no peak flairing seems to be a sort of key to Temperatures as we lean or wobble in orbit. We could see some changes I honestly think.
Here is alink to Telescope Videos on Line, facinating Photo immage capture. A great site so far I think
http://www.pbs.org/seeinginthedark/abou … ansit.html
anyway, try it.
Norse Mythology predicts 4 ice ages before the end of the world...supposedly, we've already had 3.
This is exciting...and fascinating.
Well we could be there Chris. If you notice the Colder temps, seem to be moving further south now. You may have something and it may not be Myth.
Those folks knew weather back then.
Here is a link I found concerning Norse Archeology that may hold some interest also
http://www.pasthorizons.com/index.php/a … -greenland
Are we headed for another LIA (Little Ice Age)? That's very possible. Measurements from the AQUA satellite show that we've had some balmy years and some cooler years, but that there's been no statistically significant warming or cooling trend for more than 12 years.
For hundreds of millions of years of geological history, the primary drivers of climate change have been astronomy (e.g. Milankovitch Cycles) and geology (e.g. volcanism).
The larger picture. For the past 5 million years, we've been in an ice age, by geological standards. In our present geological eyeblink, we're in an interglacial, and we're just about due for another long-term glacial advance.
One of these years, we Californians will have to brace ourselves for an influx of climate refugees from Canada, eh.
In the Title I should have said Lack of Sun Cycles maybe, might have been more accurate.
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