posted on Nov, 25 2008 @ 01:12 AM
Sunspots are dark, cool regions with intense magnetic fields or magnetic loops bursting out from the Sun's interior that inhibit convection, forming
areas of reduced surface temperature. Visible from Earth even without a telescope sunspots have temperatures of roughly 4,000–4,500 K. However, as
the temperatures of the surrounding area are approx 5,800 K, these become clearly visible as dark spots or sunspots.
Sunspot in comparison with the size of the Earth
Sunspots, some as large as 80,000 km in diameter, typically move across the surface of the sun, contracting and expanding as they go. Over the past
decade some researchers say they've found puzzling correlations between changes in the sun's output and weather and climate patterns on Earth.
Although periods of inactivity are normal for the sun, this current period has gone on much longer than usual and scientists are starting to
Now they (Sunspots) are all gone. Not even solar physicists know why it’s happening and what this odd solar silence might be indicating for our
future. The last time this happened was 400 years ago -- and it signaled a solar event known as a "Maunder Minimum," along with the start of what
we now call the "Little Ice Age."
Global Warming Or The Coming Ice Age?
"It continues to be dead," said Saku Tsuneta with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, program manager for the Hinode solar mission,
noting that it is at least a little bit worrisome for scientists. In the past, they observed that the sun once went 50 years without producing
sunspots. That period coincided with a little ice age on Earth that lasted from 1650 to 1700. Coincidence? Some scientists say it was, but many worry
that it wasn’t.
According to Geophysicist Phil Chapman, pictures from SOHO show that there is no sunspot activity on the sun at present. He also noted that the
world cooled quickly between January last year and January this year, by about 0.7C!
He also cautioned that another mini Ice Age could come
From the film, ‘The Day After Tomorrow’
Now this 11-year low in Sunspot activity has raised fears among a small but growing number of scientists that rather than getting warmer, the
Earth could possibly be about to return to another cooling period. The idea is especially intriguing considering that most of the world is in
preparation for global warming.
Oleg Sorokhtin, a fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences believes that a lack of sunspots does indicate a coming cooling period based on
certain past trends and early records. In fact, he calls manmade climate change "a drop in the bucket" compared to the fierce and abrupt cold
that can potentially be brought on by inactive solar phases.
So what of ‘Global Warming’? Do scientists have to revisit their predictions and nightmare scenarios painted by them of retreating glaciers and
rising sea levels drowning out coastal cities etc? Or is global warming a conspiracy? Or is it that we just don’t know what the heck is happening
and imagining devastating scenarios based on inaccurate climate models that we know little or nothing about? Or are we now witnessing the end of a
global warming period and the beginning of another ice age?
Time will tell. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds.