Boston (MA) - Harvard astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon tells us that Earth has seen a reduced level of sunspot activity for the past 18 months, and is currently at the lowest levels seen in almost a century. Dr. Soon says "The sun is just slightly dimmer and has been for about the last 18 months. And that is because there are very few sunspots." He says when the sun has less sunspots, it gives off less energy, and the Earth tends to cool. He notes 2008 was a cold year for this very reason, and that 2009 may be cold for the same.Let's think again. The level of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere didn't go down in the last couple of years, did it? So if it was Carbon Dioxide to blame - we wouldn't have two coldest winters in the row, not to mention a third "white Easter" since 2007 here in Moncton. Now, if we compare the changes in solar activity with the recent climatic trends - that makes a lot more sense, doesn't it?
As of today, there have been 15 days in a row without any sunspots. In 2008 there were 266 days scattered throughout the year without sunspots, and in 2007 there were 163 days without sunspots. These are the #2 and #9 fewest sunspots years seen since 1911.
Around the year 2000, the current cycle had reached its maximum. As of right now in 2009, it is at a period of zero sunspot activity. Still, he explains that no one knows for sure how long the cycles will last, and there are precedents that sunspots can persist for long periods of time, or there can be few or none for long periods of time (as happened between 1645 and 1715 during the Little Ice Age).
So far in 2009, the sun has had no sunspots for 88 out of the 99 days so far this year. Dr. Soon calls what we are seeing "the first deep solar minimum of the space age", and "In fact, this is the quietest [fewest sunspots] Sun we have had in almost a century".
So, when are we going to see the end of this obsession with greenhouse gas emissions? Instead of trying to change the makeup of the atmosphere and influence the global climatic trends - how about implementing real measures to reduce air and water pollution?