http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.84Change: 0.00
R/$ = 11.04Change: -0.09
Au 1172.18 $/ozChange: -28.04
Pt 1234.50 $/ozChange: -11.50
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Oct 31, 2008

Evidence of sunspot involvement in climate change compelling

Back
Water|Denmark|Henrik Svensmark|Water
Water||Water
water-company|denmark|henrik-svensmark|water
© Reuse this Over the last few years, the evidence that sunspots on our sun are directly related to climate change on earth has been steadily increasing.



I explained the exact proposed mechanism in some detail previously. Great work in this field is being carried out by Dr Henrik Svensmark and coworkers in Denmark and elsewhere.

Briefly, the mechanism is that cosmic rays impact on the earth from deep space. These cosmic rays penetrate our atmosphere and lead to the formation of cloud cover. The cosmic rays nucleate sites in the atmosphere, from which clouds form from the natural water vapour.

If one puts a spoonful of coffee powder into a cup of microwaved water, the water forms bubbles of foam on the coffee grains. This is basically the same principle as the cosmic rays forming clouds in the atmosphere.

The earth’s magnetic field, which acts as a shielding, is altered by the sun’s activity, which, in turn, is indicated by means of the number of sunspots. As the earth’s magnetic shield varies, so the cloud cover varies. Few sunspots mean a weaker earth shield, which means more cosmic rays, which mean more clouds, which mean a cooling earth.

The correlation for this effect, going back thousands of years, is good, remarkably so. Scientifically, this looks believable, and it is consistent with the theory and observation.

In contrast, the argument that man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) is causing warming does not fit the facts at all. Firstly, there was no indus- trial CO2 produced in vast quanti- ties when the Roman Warming period occurred, or when the Medieval Warming period occurred. Both are well documented in various archives, such as the historical and archaeological.

But there is more – global warming is extremely complex, and it is really naïve to believe that a relatively simple theory will explain it satisfactorily. It is far too simple just to say: CO2 traps heat and, therefore, more CO2 means more heat, and so we have global warming.

As the makers of heat-seeking missiles know very well, the CO2 in the atmosphere has ‘windows’ in it. This means that certain ‘heat frequencies’ pass through the atmosphere easily but other frequencies are trapped. It is these windows that the missile uses to hunt its prey. As a consequence, there are ‘frequency bands’ related to the CO2 cover of the earth. In various ‘bands’, the infrared passes through easily, or not so easily.

Further, CO2 can trap incoming heat from space and outgoing heat being radiated from the earth. The frequency bands linked to the CO2 also become saturated – they cannot just keep sucking up more and more heat. Essentially, this CO2 argument is very complex.

Over the last century, the temperature changes in our planet’s atmosphere, let alone ground and sea, just do not match the atmospheric CO2 concentration at all. This is cause for warning bells that, perhaps, this whole CO2 argument is not correct.

In comparison, the cosmic ray and sunspot information match well. However, as I have said, this whole atmospheric temperature issue is very complex, and no capable scientist in the field is going to say otherwise.

Right now, we have been experi- encing a rather long period of sunspot inactivity on our sun, some 200 days plus. This has happened before.

Formal sun- spot data collection started in 1749 and has been monitored ever since. But long before that date, sunspots were known and informal measurements were taken. It is, therefore, known that the Little Ice Age, which took place from the midseventeenth century to the eighteenth century, was preceded and paralleled by a period of some 50 years with a virtual absence of sunspots, according to informal records.

In more recent times, we have had relatively long periods without sunspots. This year, we passed the mark of 200 days without sunspots, which is unusual. In fact, the sun has been blanker now than in any other year since 1954, when it was spotless for 241 days, and this year is now being called the sun’s quietest year of the space age.

The sun was also very quiet in 1913, so runs of 200-plus spotless days are rare, but not that rare. As I have already said, the global warming and cooling issue is complex, and so a run of 200-plus days without sunspots cannot be compared to a 50-year quiet period during the Little Ice Age, but it is cause for some scientific thinking.

Further, a cooling that could be initiated by a lack of sunspots will induce other climatic effects that will either favour warming or cooling. The jury is still out on exactly what happens, but the evidence for sunspot involvement in climate change is just too compelling for it to be brushed aside by those who want to cling to the simplistic idea that man-made CO2 is the only factor.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Dr Kelvin Kemm News
I have seen news reports that the Competition Commission has launched an investigation into elements of the automotive industry relating to the supply of components to original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs). My immediate reaction a sense of unease. I suspect that...
There have been several copper cable theft incidents all over the country that have caused massive collateral damage. The collateral damage is often extensive. Over and above the cost of replacing the stolen cable is the massive cost of an area being out of power for...
The Mars rover, Curiosity, has just completed two years on the surface of that planet.  All is going well. The very fancy device has found water in the sand that was thought to be dry. In fact, about 1 l of water for about 30 l of sand, so there is a lot.
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 5 hours ago The retail price of 95-grade petrol in South Africa will drop by 45 cents or 3.3 percent a liter from next Wednesday, while wholesale diesel will decrease by 4.9 percent, the government said on Friday. Petrol will cost 13.16 rand ($1.20) a liter while the wholesale...
Updated 5 hours ago Special purpose vehicle GreenCape will, by the end of 2014, make an application to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Western Cape provincial government and the City of Cape Town to declare Atlantis, on the Western seaboard, a special economic zone...
Updated 5 hours ago The German government has committed a further R70-million towards the second phase of the Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) programme. The NMT programme forms part of the Department of Environmental Affairs’ 2010 FIFA World Cup National Greening Legacy Programme.
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
In the next 20 years, it was expected that, in Africa, more people would live in cities and towns than in rural areas, United Nations Habitat executive director Dr Aisa Kirabo Kacyira said at the Human Settlements Indaba that took place earlier this month in...
Tough-talking Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has committed government to building 1.5-million low-cost houses over the next five years, telling the Human Settlements Indaba in Johannesburg on Wednesday that the State would achieve this target through the...
Over the past 20 years there has been persistent concern about deindustrialisation in South Africa, as well as the fact that locally produced manufactured products have been increasingly displaced by imports.
Financial agreement for Ghanian independent power producer (IPP) Cenpower Generation Company’s $900-million, 350 MW combined-cycle gas-turbine power plant was finalised earlier this month, paving the way for the project’s construction to begin before 2015 in Tema,...
The revenue implications for South Africa of ‘base erosion and profit shifting’ by corporate taxpayers are firmly in the crosshairs of the Davis Tax Committee (DTC) and Judge Dennis Davis hinted last week that recommendations were being considered to “detect and...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks