AP Swings, Misses on Solar Wind At 50 Year Low

Wire service Associated Press has cribbed up some scientists who say “there is no evidence to make any connection between solar activity and weather or long-term climate change.” It is reassuring to know that lunatics process the news; they might as well, since Al Gore makes the news. I would like to know which scientists say there is no connection between solar activity and long-term climate change, Mr. Journalist. These scientists are as unaware of history and geology as you are.

Solar Wind at Lowest Levels in 50 Years here

WASHINGTON — The sun has dialed back its furnace to the lowest levels seen in the space age, new measurements from a space probe show.

But don’t worry — it’s too small a difference to change life on Earth, scientists said Tuesday. In fact, it means satellites can stay in orbit a little longer.

The solar wind — a stream of charged particles ejected from the sun’s upper atmosphere at 1 million miles per hour — is significantly weaker, cooler and less dense than it has been in 50 years, according to new data from the NASA-European solar probe Ulysses.

And for the first time in about a century, the sun went for two months this summer without sunspots, said NASA solar physicist David Hathaway.

That record was broken Monday when a cluster of eight sunspots surfaced. Sunspots are temporary regions of high magnetic activity that from Earth appear to be black splotches.

The cause for the sun’s slight weakening seems to be a change in its magnetic flux, said Dave McComas of the Southwest Research Institute. Why it’s happening is a mystery, but it has fluctuated like this in the past.

Weaker solar winds mean less drag on satellites so they can stay in orbit a bit longer. While that’s good for satellites, it also means more space junk.

Normally the sun goes through an 11-year cycle of more, then fewer, sunspots and a similar cycle when it comes to solar wind strength. But scientists said Tuesday the sun is in “a very prolonged minimum.”

Typically a solar minimum lasts about a year, but this low point has gone on since the summer of 2006.

It is “like turning down the heat on a stove,” said McComas, a scientist who used the Ulysses solar probe to document a significantly weaker solar wind.

The 17-year-old space probe, which circles the sun from a distance of about 337 million miles, has been studying the environment above and below the poles of the sun. It is just months away from shutting down because of freezing fuel.

Recently, the solar wind has been about 14 percent cooler and 17 percent less dense, according to a paper by McComas in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

For the past 15 years or so, the sun’s overall output seems to be lower than normal, even when it was at the maximum for its cycle about eight years ago, McComas said. It may be part of a centurylong trend, said Boston University space physicist Nancy Crooker.

Some people historically have connected sunspots to weather, such as the Old Farmer’s Almanac. But solar scientists say there is no evidence to make any connection between solar activity and weather or long-term climate change.

The confusion is grand. Sunspots, or more precisely, solar magnetic activity, and long-term climate change on Earth, obviously including weather, are the Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire of precise coordination.

It is anthropogenic carbon dioxide, on the other hand, that lacks any documented connection with weather or long-term climate change.

A mechanism has been alleged (unsuccessfully) connecting anthropogenic carbon dioxide with weather and long-term climate change; and has been worked to death. “The greenhouse effect” has now disappeared from the wire service “scientific” lexicon in favor of undefined “climate change.” Of course there is a real “greenhouse effect” which is absolutely required for life as we know it on Earth; but the real greenhouse effect is now proven practically insensitive to anthropogenic carbon dioxide.

While there is no connection observable between anthropogenic carbon dioxide and weather including long-term climate change, there very much is an obvious connection between solar magnetic activity and weather, etc. One can observe this connection if he does not ignore history (Maunder, Dalton, etc.). Frankly, I would prefer that those who ignore history should desist from polluting the “wires.”

A mechanism, enhanced low cloud formation from increased ionizing radiation during solar magnetic quiet, has been demonstrated (The Chilling Stars) in compelling fashion. Beyond simply being connected, a causal relationship exists. Read the book, AP.


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