June 15, 2011

Reduced Solar Activity Forecast

Solar activity and its effect on climate is sort of above my blogging pay grade, but the American Astronomical Society is predicting a long period (decades?) of reduced solar activity.

The post that I am linking to is fairly technical, but the "big maybe" is here:
Currently, the sun is in the midst of the period designated as Cycle 24 and is ramping up toward the cycle’s period of maximum activity. However, the recent findings indicate that the activity in the next 11-year solar cycle, Cycle 25, could be greatly reduced. In fact, some scientists are questioning whether this drop in activity could lead to a second Maunder Minimum, which was a 70-year period from 1645 to 1715 when the sun showed virtually no sunspots.
Such a prediction has some people talking about another Little Ice Age. But to me the sad thing is that climate-change issues have become so politicized and trivialized that the science will soon be swamped by people yammering over whether or not incandescent light bulbs are "killing the planet." We are a jealous bunch of apes sometimes.

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