Scientists worried about new ice age

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Scientists worried about new ice age

Another Maunder Minimum?
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7 Feb 08 - Scientists worried about a new ice age seek funding to better observe something bigger than your SUV — the sun.

Kenneth Tapping, a solar researcher and project director for Canada's National Research Council, is among those looking at the sun for evidence of an increase in sunspot activity.

Solar activity fluctuates in an 11-year cycle. But so far in this cycle, the sun has been disturbingly quiet. The lack of increased activity could signal the beginning of what is known as a Maunder Minimum, an event which occurs every couple of centuries and can last as long as a century.

Such an event occurred in the 17th century. The observation of sunspots showed extraordinarily low levels of magnetism on the sun, with little or no 11-year cycle.

This solar hibernation corresponded with a period of bitter cold that began around 1650 and lasted, with intermittent spikes of warming, until 1715. Frigid winters and cold summers led to massive crop failures, famine and death in Northern Europe.

Tapping reports no change in the sun's magnetic field so far this cycle and warns that if the sun remains quiet for another year or two, it may indicate a repeat of that period of drastic cooling of the Earth, bringing massive snowfall and severe weather to the Northern Hemisphere.

As we have noted many times, perhaps the biggest impact on the Earth's climate over time has been the sun.

R. Timothy Patterson, professor of geology and director of the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Center of Canada's Carleton University, says, "I and the first-class scientists I work with are consistently finding excellent correlations between the regular fluctuations of the sun and earthly climate. This is not surprising. The sun and the stars are the ultimate source of energy on this planet."

Patterson, sharing Tapping's concern, says: "Solar scientists predict that, by 2020, the sun will be starting into its weakest Schwabe cycle of the past two centuries, likely leading to unusually cool conditions on Earth."

"If we were to have even a medium-sized solar minimum, we could be looking at a lot more bad effects than 'global warming' would have had," Patterson says.

But if the sun shuts down, we've got a problem. It is the sun, not the Earth, that's hanging in the balance.

You owe it to yourself to read the entire article in 
Investors Business Daily
under the title "The Sun Also Sets"
http://ibdeditorial.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=287279412587175
Thanks to Phillip Brennan, Alan Caruba, Barry Willoughby, and countless others for this link

See also Global Cooling comes back in a big way

 



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