FOR SEVERAL DAYS NOW, STARTING, I BELIEVE WITH AN ARTICLE IN THE TIMES OF INDIA, I SAW THE HEADLINE "WEAKER SUN COULD SLOW GLOBAL WARMING".
I HAVE TO ASK, WHY THE HELL IS THAT THE HEADLINE WHEN THE SUN HAS WEAKENED?
[A note about blue highlighting on hyperlinks at end of this blog.]
NO, THE GREAT gods" OF SCIENCE CAN'T EXPLAIN WHY, BUT WE DO KNOW IT HAPPENED BEFORE SEVERAL HUNDRED YEARS AGO, AND WE ON EARTH SAW A "MINI ICE AGE".
ARE WE SUPPOSED TO SEE THAT AS A POSITIVE?
THE LAST TIME EUROPE HAD A REALLY "KILLER" WINTER, SCIENCE TOLD US IT WAS BECAUSE OF A WEAKENED GULF STREAM.
ACTUALLY THE SLOWED/WEAKENED GULF STREAM WAS BLAMED IN 2010 AND IN 2013.
IT WAS BLAMED FOR BOTH MILD WINTERS AND HARSH ONES, ALL THE WAY BACK TO AT LEAST 2002, AND THEN WE WERE TOLD IT PLAYED NO ROLL AT ALL.
EARLIER THIS YEAR, THE GULF STREAM WAS BACK ON THE LIST AS A CAUSE OF 'CLIMATE CHANGE' OR AS THE RESULT OF THAT.
AND NOW, THE SUN WEAKENING MAY SAVE US FROM GLOBAL WARMING?
YEAH, AND IT COULD JUST HAND US A WINTER NOBODY WILL WANT TO DEAL WITH!
THE SUN WILL DECREASE IN FUNCTION BY PERHAPS 20% FOR THE NEXT 40 YEARS OR SO AND THEY WANT US TO REJOICE?
THEY'RE CALLING IT A "GRAND SOLAR MINIMUM".
WHAT IS "GRAND" ABOUT THE SUN GETTING WEAKER 5 BILLION YEARS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE?
A LITTLE THING CALLED THE MAUNDER MINIMUM WAS SEEN IN THE LATE 1600s TO EARLY 1700s AND EUROPE FROZE.
OUR EASTERN UNITED STATES DID, TOO.
CAN IT GET WORSE THAN LAST YEAR'S WINTER OR THE YEAR BEFORE THAT?
I REMEMBERED A BBC ARTICLE FROM BACK IN 2013, AND, SURE ENOUGH, THERE WAS TALK OF A NEW MAUNDER MINIMUM BACK THEN!
A PROFESSOR LOCKWOOD IN THE UK HAD DONE SOME CALCULATIONS THAT SEEMED NOT SO DISTURBING BACK THEN:
"He found 24 different occasions in the last 10,000 years when the sun was in exactly the same state as it is now – and the present decline is faster than any of those 24."
WELL, I DO KNOW THAT THESE PAST FEW WEEKS HAVE BEEN INCREDIBLY HOT HERE IN THE SOUTH, WITH "FEELS LIKE" TEMPS REACHING 120 TODAY AND 123 YESTERDAY.
WE HAVEN'T SEEN TEMPS UNDER ABOUT 75 AT NIGHT IN WEEKS.
WE'VE CRACKED RECORDS DATING BACK TO THE 1930s AND 1940s.
IN TRYING TO DETERMINE WHAT COULD BE BEHIND ALL THIS, I CAME ACROSS ANOTHER ODD ARTICLE, IN POPULAR MECHANICS, OF ALL PLACES, WHICH , ALONG WITH 'POPULAR SCIENCE' IS USUALLY A FAVORITE TOOL USED BY OUR GOVERNMENT TO SOOTHE US AND CALM US WHEN DISTURBING NEWS LEAKS OUT, AND DENY WHATEVER NEEDS DENYING, OH, AND DISCREDIT THE KNOWLEDGEABLE.
THIS ARTICLE WAS AN INTERVIEW WITH THE SCIENTIFIC ADVISOR FOR THE MOVIE "SUNSHINE", DR. BRIAN COX, ONE OF THE PHYSICISTS ATTACHED TO CERN, THE LARGE HADRON COLLIDER.
HE WAS ASKED ABOUT THAT "Q BALL" IN THE MOVIE, THE ONE THAT WAS EATING OUR SUN.
COX: "One theory is that there are particles called Q-balls, which would've been created in the big bang and would be drifting around. If they drifted into the heart of a star, and if they were more stable than the matter the star is made of, then they could start eating the star from the inside out.
COX: Well, it's almost certain that if these things are there, they wouldn't go into the sun because the sun's not dense enough to [hold] them. But if you get a really dense star, it could possibly cause a problem. We imagined that this Q-ball object is beginning to damage the core of the sun.
POPMECH: It's theoretically possible?
COX: Just about, yeah.
NOT TO BE OUTDONE, POPULAR SCIENCE THEN HAD COX WRITE AN ARTICLE AND WE GET A LITTLE MORE INFO THERE:
"The Sun will not live forever. It has enough fuel left, if our current understanding is correct, for another 5 billion years, at which point it will die. But could it be possible for the Sun to die much sooner, within the next 100 years even? From a scientific perspective, it should be said that this is very unlikely.
But, it is also true that there is a lot about the universe that we do not understand.
Over the last few years astronomers have observed that there is extra "stuff" in the universe that we can see only by its gravitational influence on stars and galaxies. This stuff goes by the name of Dark Matter, and there is five times as much Dark Matter in the universe as there is normal matter, the stuff that makes up you, me, and the stars and planets we can see with our telescopes.
What is this mysterious stuff?
It's possible, some scientists would say likely even, that this stuff is made of particles known as supersymmetric particles, a new and exotic form of matter that is high on the list of potential discoveries at CERN's giant Large Hadron Collider, a 27km in circumference machine which begins operations this year after almost a decade of construction.
Theoretical physicists have spent many years calculating the properties of these supersymmetric particles, and we have a reasonable theoretical understanding of how they might behave.
One possibility is that they could clump together into giant balls known as Q-balls. If this is true, then these heavy and exotic objects could have been made billionths of a second after our Universe began, and still be roaming the Universe today. It is speculated that, if a Q-ball drifts into the heart of a super-dense object such as a neutron star, it could begin to eat away at it's core like a cancer, until the star is no longer massive enough to maintain itself and explodes in a violent explosion.
Such explosions, known as gamma ray bursts, are seen in the Universe, although their cause is as yet unknown.
Could such a dangerous, exotic object drift into the Sun's core and cause it to stop shining? It is likely that the Sun is many times too diffuse to stop a Q-ball - it would power right through. But maybe, just maybe, some strange exotic form of matter from the earliest times in the universe could settle deep within the Sun's core, and disrupt its function enough to cause the catastrophic scenario seen in 'Sunshine'.
It's far-fetched, but we have a saying in physics that anything that isn't explicitly ruled out is therefore possible, so in the final analysis, you never quite know.
It is now suspected that pollution in the Earth's atmosphere, caused by industrialization and natural phenomena such as volcanic eruptions, may have significantly reduced that amount of sunlight reaching the Earth's surface. It is estimated that this could have led to a cooling effect of over 1 degree over the last 40 years, which would go some way to offsetting the effect of global warming. Global warming is caused primarily by increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere that prevent heat being radiated back out into space from the Earth's surface.
The phenomenon of global dimming may therefore have saved us, so far, from the worst affects of climate change, although it has been noticed that as pollution levels have been reduced, particularly in Western Europe, the effects of global dimming seem to be reducing, leading to an accelerating temperature rise once again. We may therefore be in the paradoxical situation that reducing pollution might INCREASE the effects of global warming, leading us ever more quickly towards catastrophe.
This discovery isn't all bad, however, because it may suggest a short term solution to climate change. Why not intentionally put pollutants, which may be designed to be benign in other respects, into the atmosphere to accelerate global dimming, and therefore slow the climate change caused by carbon dioxide emissions. Several suggestions along these lines have been made, including adding small particles to airplane fuel, and therefore using one of the main contributors to climate change, aircraft, to slow its effects. It's an intriguing possibility, and one that is the focus of significant research, although it should be said that we cannot at present predict the effects of such fine-tuning of the climate, so global dimming shouldn't be seen as a means to allow us to continue to increase carbon dioxide emissions."
GLOBAL DIMMING, WEAKENING SUN...
YEAH, WE'RE FINE, THANKS, EVERYTHING IS 'PEACHY KEEN'.
I'M CONVINCED MORE EACH DAY THAT OUR SCIENTISTS, THOSE THE MEDIA LOVE, AT LEAST, ARE WHAT SOME CALL "BAT GUANO INSANE".
BUT, ALL WE CAN DO IS SIT BACK AND WAIT AND SEE.
WHILE THIS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT WILL KEEP ME UP AT NIGHT, IT IS QUITE SURPRISING THAT ANYONE WOULD SEE A WEAKENING SUN AS A "PLUS".
IT'S NOT LIKE WE HAVE A SPARE SHOULD OUR SUN WINK OUT...
NOW, ABOUT THAT NEW BLUE HIGHLIGHTING OF HYPERLINKS...
I'VE HAD A FEW QUERIES AS TO WHAT MY SOURCES ARE FOR BLOGS.
I REPLY, "SEE HYPERLINKS"....
THEN I GET "WHAT HYPERLINKS, I DON'T SEE ANY..."
DO YOU SEE THEM NOW?
IF YOU BUT HOVER YOUR MOUSE OVER TEXT, THEY LIGHT UP LIKE CHRISTMAS TREES ALMOST.
AND NOW THAT YOU SEE THEM, YOU CAN FOLLOW THEM...TO MY SOURCES, OR AT LEAST SOME OF THEM.
ENJOY...I WILL NOT USE HIGHLIGHTING ON LINKS AGAIN....
DEAL WITH IT...OR DON'T.