Friday, August 28, 2009

Sunspots affect the weather? Really?

Short article here. Trouble is, before I believe that, I have to see a graph of temperature or rainfall or something that varies with an 11 year period. Lacking such a graph, I don't believe it.
Sunspots have been known for better than 400 years. They do have a strong effect on radio propagation, something well known to any ham radio operator. Long distance, or over-the-horizon, radio communication is much easier at sunspot maximum.
Somehow it is hard to believe that only now, in heat of the global warming crisis, that suddenly a correlation between weather and sunspot activity is discovered.
If the very small variations in solar heat caused by sunspots makes a difference then global warming can be linked to longer term variations in solar heat. Satellite observations of solar activity only go back 30-40 years. The satellites all show the sunspot cycle clearly, but the long term trend is unreadable. Each new satellite launched (and there have been a dozen) reads the solar activity a little bit different from its predecessor, due to tiny variations in instrument calibration. After this effect has been corrected, the long term trend is read as nothing by some, and as improper corrections by others.
The referenced article contains no data at all. The scientific articles linked to are all "pay-per-view". Being a cheapskate, I'll try and find something on the net that is free before putting up real money to satisfy my curiosity.

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