R/€ = 15.39Change: 0.16
R/$ = 13.75Change: 0.03
Au 1138.00 $/ozChange: 1.55
Pt 910.00 $/ozChange: 4.00
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?

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 Letters About Us
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
Oct 31, 2008

Evidence of sunspot involvement in climate change compelling

© 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
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Dr Kelvin Kemm News
Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka has just returned to earth from the International Space Station (ISS). He returned with two other crew members of the ISS. By the way, Russian space travellers are called cosmonauts, but Americans and other Westerners are called...
I was invited to present an informal seminar to the Humansdorp Business Forum. It was most successful and I was really impressed to find a turnout of 120 people.  It was an evening function in the Grill and Co restaurant, in the town of Humansdorp. There was a...
Something that I find to be quite an amazing sociological phenomenon is the amount of real nonsense that floats about in public concerning nuclear power. At least there is a bit of comfort in the fact that it is not only our people who react so strangely. The same is...
Latest News
In the boom times when the price of gold was soaring, Ebenezer Sam-Onuawonto had a dream job and a dollar salary many times the national average in this mining town in southwestern Ghana. When the price fell, he lost his job as human resources chief at a mining...
Property developer Balwin Properties aims to raise between R713-million and R1.6-billion ahead of its listing on the real estate holding and development sector of the JSE on October 15. It would use the funds to settle existing debt facilities and fund future...
The information and communications technology (ICT) in education leg of Operation Phakisa has been launched to transform the basic education sector and leverage ICTs to strengthen teaching, learning and administration of the education system. The Operation Phakisa...
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 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 infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
Energy analyst and EE Publishers MD Chris Yelland warned recently against excessive optimism regarding timescales for the proposed construction of new nuclear power plants (NPPs) in South Africa. He was speaking at a Nuclear Roundtable in Johannesburg. “I think we...
Malawi’s Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) is inviting eligible bidders to prequalify for the board’s efficiency improvement works, which will be implemented as part of the E24-million Lilongwe Water Resources Efficiency Programme.   LWB CEO Alfonso Chikuni explains that...
CROATIA, AN EU MEMBER BUT NOT A TDCA MEMBER On July 1, 2013, Croatia officially became the twenty-eighth member of the European Union (EU). Despite Croatia’s accession into the EU, it is yet to become party to the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA)...
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has announced that its new Inundu airborne electronics testing, evaluation and training pod had made its first test flight on September 10. The successful flight was undertaken from Lanseria International...
The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) – which disbursed a record R13-billion during 2015, from R12.7-billion in the prior year – remained optimistic that it could ramp-up loan disbursements to R25-billion a year by 2018 as it sought to give greater emphasis...
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
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
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96