#1 Strange Doings on the Sun by algernonpj 12.11.2013 16:59

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Note the science by consensus propaganda and arrogance at the end.


Strange Doings on the Sun
Sunspots, Which Can Harm Electronics on Earth, Are Half the Number Expected
Robert Lee Hotz
Nov. 10, 2013 7:25 p.m. ET

Something is up with the sun.

Scientists say that solar activity is stranger than in a century or more, with the sun producing barely half the number of sunspots as expected and its magnetic poles oddly out of sync.

The sun generates immense magnetic fields as it spins. Sunspots—often broader in diameter than Earth—mark areas of intense magnetic force that brew disruptive solar storms. These storms may abruptly lash their charged particles across millions of miles of space toward Earth, where they can short-circuit satellites, smother cellular signals or damage electrical systems.

Based on historical records, astronomers say the sun this fall ought to be nearing the explosive climax of its approximate 11-year cycle of activity—the so-called solar maximum. But this peak is "a total punk," said Jonathan Cirtain, who works at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as project scientist for the Japanese satellite Hinode, which maps solar magnetic fields.

"I would say it is the weakest in 200 years," said David Hathaway, head of the solar physics group at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Researchers are puzzled. They can't tell if the lull is temporary or the onset of a decades-long decline, which might ease global warming a bit by altering the sun's brightness or the wavelengths of its light.

"There is no scientist alive who has seen a solar cycle as weak as this one," said Andrés Munoz-Jaramillo, who studies the solar-magnetic cycle at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass.

To complicate the riddle, the sun also is undergoing one of its oddest magnetic reversals on record
. . . .
Several solar scientists speculated that the sun may be returning to a more relaxed state after an era of unusually high activity that started in the 1940s.

"More than half of solar physicists would say we are returning to a norm," said physicist Mark Miesch at the High Altitude Observatory in Boulder, Colo., who studies the internal dynamics of stars. "We might be in for a longer state of suppressed activity."

If so, the decline in magnetic activity could ease global warming, the scientists said. But such a subtle change in the sun—lowering its luminosity by about 0.1%—wouldn't be enough to outweigh the build-up of greenhouse gases and soot that most researchers consider the main cause of rising world temperatures over the past century or so.

"It may give us a brief respite from global warming," said Dr. Hathaway. "But it is not going to stop it."

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10...183940409194498

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