Sunday, September 06, 2009

No Sunspots

The 11 year sunspot cycle reached a minimum around December 2008 - and seems to have stayed there. The spot which appeared on August 31, after 51 clear days, just missed last year's 52-day record - the longest spot-free period since 1913.

Maybe it's just coincidence that the snow in Scotland was better this year than for ages, and that the summer wasn't a terribly hot one either. But we live in hope, or I do - while I love an English, fluffy-white-cloud summer day, bit of a breeze, I find those baking cloudless days we've been used to over the last decade quite oppressive.

The next Dalton minimum, if not Maunder minimum, can't arrive too soon. Bring on the Frost Fairs !

UPDATE - I'm an agnostic on the current global warming mullarkey. Although it's obvious that chucking a load of CO2 into the atmosphere isn't going to make things any cooler, it's difficult to sort out the facts from the religious fervour of the warmists. Take a look at the site of the late John Daly for some of the arguments. But I'm in favour of the precautionary principle of trying to reduce emissions - my nightmare being some kind of runaway feedback loop. Mars was a wet planet once.

A Maunder or Dalton minimum might give us valuable breathing space (a Maunder minimum might also lead to mass starvation as global crop yields fall, but that's another story).


Malthebof said...

I agree Laban, I thought I was alone in not liking hot weather. The ws & weather people all get enthusiastic about heatwaves, and moan about rain. I like summer days about 68F (20C) with a noce sea breeze.

Malthebof said...

Correction to early morning spellings ws should be news, noce should be nice.
Need new fingers

dave fordwych said...

August 2009 has been the wettest in South West Scotland since records began with 373 mm and the 3rd wettest month ever, just failing to beat the all time record of February 1997 of 400 mm and second placed January 1928 with 390 mm.

The first week of September has been just as bad with rain every day,some of it very heavy.

Laban said...

there's been flooding in Elgin, has there not ?

Anonymous said...

hottests, and wettests since records began blah blah, and how far exactly do these records go back?
no more than 150 years at best, and they were measure differently then anyway.

Mark said...

Like you Laban I'm still agnostic on man made global warming. The islands of the North Atlantic (including our own)are still nowhere near as warm as they were around 1000AD-the period of the Viking settlement of Iceland, Greenland and (perhaps very briefly)Newfoundland.
According to the Domesday book,at the time of the Conquest viable vineyards were well distributed across central and southern England southeast of all points between Worcester to York !

johnse18 said...

As well as variations in Solar activity, another thing that affects the climate are Milankovitch cycles du to the comination of the earth's axial tilt (which gives us our seasons) and the fact that the Earth's orbit is slightly elliptical. I believe this correlates quite well with the Ice Ages.

The fact that the Earth has in the past experienced great climate changes (ice ages, warm periods (e.h.Vikings) suggests to me that if we were vulnerable to a runaway feedback loop we would already have experienced one.

Incidentally such a catastrophic feedback was suggested back in the 1970S - but it was a runaway COOLING.

What would happen - people asked nervously - if the Sun got a teeny weeny bit cooler? Well - the Earth too would get a teeny weny bit cooler. But because of this the polar icecaps would expand a bit. Since ice is more reflective than water or land even less solar radiation would be absorbed by the Earth, so it would get cooler still. So the ice caps would expand a bit more and the fraction os incident solar radiation absorbed would go down further and so on and so on until before you know it the whole Earth is covered in ice.

So whatver the climatic conditions there's always soomething to get alarmed about.

Anonymous said...

"According to the Domesday book,at the time of the Conquest viable vineyards were well distributed across central and southern England southeast of all points between Worcester to York !"

It could be that English vineyards were abandoned once more wine began to be imported from elsewhere, not because of climatic reasons.

We might well imagine our then-new Norman overlords turning up their noses at English wine.

Durotrigan said...

Laban, did you not mean to say that Venus once was a wet planet rather than Mars? Granted, it is thought that liquid water once existed on both, but contemporary Mars most closely resembles the frigid dry valleys of Antarctica, whereas runaway global warming on Venus led to the evaporation of any oceans that it possessed. The average surface temperature on Venus is now hot enough to melt lead, i.e. circa 460 degrees Celsius and higher.

wildgoose said...

I believe English Vineyards were deliberately grubbed up by order of the Norman thuggocracy as part of the marriage deal arranged when Henry II married Eleanor of Aquitaine.