Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Days Without Sunspots Are In The Top Five

The news is about the cold weather in late 2008. Newspapers report that glaciers in Canada, California, and New Zealand are growing, as the result of colder temperatures and increased snowfall.

After years of decline, glaciers in Norway are again growing, reports the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE).

Meanwhile, in Alaska, the United States Geologic Survey has maintained a research project measuring the state of Alaskan glaciers since 1946. This year records were broken for most snow buildup. It was also the first time since measurements began that Arctic glaciers did not shrink during the summer months.

Australian Ski fields recently recorded a heavy snow fall about a week before the summer started. Also, ski resorts across Europe opened last weekend ahead of schedule after the biggest November snowfalls in at least a decade. Meanwhile heavy snow and freezing cold closed schools in much of Spain.

In New Zealand, environmental groups are angry about the new government's plan to review the science behind climate change. Environmentalists think New Zealand's reputation would be damaged if the concept of global warming is questioned.

These are all stories making international news in recent days. Of course, these stories are the result of the significant drop in global temperatures over the last two years. A drop in temperatures that may well be connected to sunspot activity.

In 2007, there were 183 days without a sunspot observed on the face of the sun. The year would be ranked ninth in the last one hundred years for a lack of sunspot activity. This year, the number of days without sunspots have already easily surpassed that level from last year.

At the end of November 2008, the number of days without a sunspot was at 239. It made 2008, the fifth ranked year without a sunspot in a century, with one full month left to go. In fact, by the end of this week, the 2008 rank will likely move up to number three, since the sun has been blank, so far this month. The number two spot is within reach with fifteen days of sunspot inactivity during December.

Two years in a row of declining temperatures with a near record lack of sunspot activity while CO2 gas continues to increase in the atmosphere. If this trend continues, history would suggest that it could get very cold. Then, the huge, lucrative, international business of research into man-made global warming would have to be put on hold.

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