The sun is a massive ball of ionized gas, which is structured into spinning layers, convection cells, streams, and eddies. Charged particles in motion constitute electric current, and electric current always produces magnetic fields. Anything that converts a magnetic field into an electric current, or vice versa, through mechanical movement is called a “dynamo.” So, one result of these continually moving and changing rivers and fountains of charged particles is that the sun has intense magnetic fields that are similarly complicated and always changing. When the fields are most intense, and emerge from the surface of the sun, they cool the surface locally, which makes that spot slightly less bright, creating a “sunspot.” Sunspots can be thought of as “local magnetic storms.”
Two layers of the sun, one near the surface and one deeper down, each produce a dominant and global magnetic field. These fields oscillate, reversing polarity about every eleven years. Because they originate at different depths, they don’t have exactly the same periodicity, and they are independent of each other. When they are in phase with each other their strength is additive, and when they are out of phase they partially cancel each other, at least insofar as they manifest themselves at the surface of the sun as sunspots.
The combined actions of these two layers, therefore, produce (1) sunspots that come and go on an eleven year cycle, (a year in which there are very few sunspots is call a “solar minimum”), (2) an overall magnetic field that reverses polarity every eleven years, and (3) a beat frequency between the two dynamos that causes the eleven year sunspot cycle to weaken to near zero for decades about every 206 years. This is called a Grand Solar Minimum.
The telescope was invented by Galileo Galilee in 1609. In the years following, he turned his telescope on the heavens and made five worldview-changing discoveries. One of these was the discovery of sunspots. Lacking any of the modern methods of attenuating sunlight, he happened to catch the sun one morning just as it was rising, viewing it through a dense fog. To his amazement, and the strong disapproval of the authorities, he saw black spots on the “perfect” celestial sphere. This, of course, was heresy, and he was treated accordingly. As time went by these spots were observed to rotate with the sun, to form and disappear, and to wax and wane with the passage of years. It was not long before many other people were counting and recording their observations of sunspots, and comparing notes. Later it was learned that sunspots are essentially magnetic in nature. Eventually scientists and astronomers collected and combined all these records, so that we have records of daily sunspot numbers (how many were counted that day) going back 400 years. In addition we have found other phenomena that mimic the sunspot cycles, so we can estimate what the sunspots were doing at any time, past or future. These records have been compared with other historical and geophysical events to look for correlations. Somewhere along the way somebody started numbering these cycles; we have just completed cycle number 24, and the years 2018/2019 will be solar minimum years. Cycles 25, 26, and 27 will take us through the next three to four decades, and are expected to coincide with a Grand Solar Minimum, during which there will be relatively few sunspots even at the peak of the cycle.
Sunspots, and their attendant magnetic storms, influence the rate at which ionized particles are ejected from the surface of the sun. When the rate is steady it is called the “solar wind,” and when explosions send large burst of material out into space these are called Coronal Mass Ejections, or CME’s. These flows of charged particles from the sun interact with the earth’s magnetic field (they are sort of trapped by it) forming a blanket of particles around the earth. These particles spiral around the earth’s magnetic field lines, (the fields are real, the lines are a way of depicting them) often being drawn like a funnel down into the atmosphere causing the aurora, or northern/southern lights.
Cosmic rays, so called, are extremely energetic particles that come not from the sun but from deep space. It is believed they are formed in supernova explosions of dying stars. When they encounter the earth’s atmosphere they ionize nitrogen and oxygen particles, which means they knock the electrons off, and these ionized particles cause the coalescing of water droplets from the humidity in the air. Droplet formation is also nucleated by dust particles charged up by static electricity in the air, but cosmic rays contribute. The key to the whole problem of climate is the recent discovery that cosmic rays are absorbed by the solar wind particles that are entrained in the earth’s magnetic field.
The climate on earth is always changing, it is not static. Here is the primary causality of climate change: sunspots indicate periods of strong magnetic fields on the sun. Strong magnetic fields send out more ions in the solar wind to the earth; the solar wind blankets the earth, partially shutting off the influx of cosmic rays. Fewer cosmic rays means less cloud formation, and less cloud cover means more of the sunlight reaches the surface of the earth to be absorbed and warm the planet. The brightness of the sun by itself is very steady. It takes a long time–decades–but during normal sun activity high sunspot counts correlate to a warming climate such as we enjoyed up until about the year 2000.
In a Grand Solar Minimum the sunspot numbers are low to non-existent for 2, 3, or even several eleven-year sunspot cycles running. The solar wind is low (ham radio operators love this–less static) but the cosmic ray counts are high. The increase in cosmic rays raises the amount of cloud cover, dropping the weather temperature both summer and winter. The last time this happened was in the early 1800’s, a period called the Dalton Minimum. It was a time of very cold temperatures, wide-spread crop failures and famine, and other weather-related hardships. The time before that was the Maunder Minimum, which occupied the span 1630 to 1710 and was especially severe. During the Maunder Minimum the Thames River in London froze solid for months at a time, and was used as a marketplace and fairground. Here is a partial list of other things that happened during the Maunder Minimum:
1630’s 2 million people starved to death in India.
” The Ming Dynasty collapsed in China due to popular revolt (starving peasants.)
1648 – 1653 Famines in Poland, Ireland, England, and France.
1660’s No rain in India for two years.
1680 Famine in Sardinia — 80,000 dead.
1690’s Scotland: 15% of the population starved to death.
1693 – 1694 2,000,000 starved to death in France.
1695 – 1697 Estonia: 15% die-off.
” ” Sweden: 80,000 dead.
1702 – 1704 India lost another 2 million people to famine.
1708 – 1711 Eastern Prussia: 40% of the population died from famine.
As you can see, climate change is real, and is no laughing matter–except for blaming it on CO2, and that’s pretty funny since neither the raw data nor the theory support man-made global warming. Actually, we know from other climate studies of geologic records (ice cores, etc.) that go back thousands of years, that rising CO2 does correlate with a warming climate, but it is an effect, not a cause. Carbon dioxide is less soluble in warm water than in cold, so as the climate warms due to solar influence the gasses from under-sea volcanoes, which are dissolved in the oceans in vast quantities, come out of solution and into the atmosphere more readily. On geological time scales increases in atmospheric CO2 lag behind increases in land temperature by about 700 years.
But isn’t CO2 a “greenhouse gas,” and doesn’t human industrial activity contribute to the CO2 in the atmosphere? Yes, to both, but (a) water vapor and methane are also important greenhouse gases, and (b) nature contributes far more CO2 to the atmosphere than man does. (Think in terms of volcanos, forest fires, all the animals in the world, etc., and see the scientific literature for the numbers.) The total atmospheric CO2 is about 0.0004 of the atmosphere, or four hundred parts per million–water vapor is far more abundant.
There are a few other important considerations:
(1) “Global Warming” is a political issue, with political motivations at stake. It began as a pure propaganda tool to promote nuclear power in the UK, and is now a vehicle for promoting global governance in place of national sovereignty.
(2) CO2 is plant food. Higher levels of CO2 would be healthier for all living things–plants and animals.
(3) Tree ring and ice core data show that at various times prior to industrialization global temperatures and levels of atmospheric CO2 have been significantly higher in the past, and for longer periods of time, than at present.
(4) Mass extinction events are associated in the geologic record with ice ages, not with warm periods. The Grand Solar Minimum now upon us was first predicted 40 years ago, but no one cared.
(5) Those promoting the notion of “anthropogenic (man-made) global warming,” called AGW, have been caught falsifying the temperature data that was in their custody, in a way that favors AGW, and also of dishonestly overstating the claims of “consensus” among scientists. If a consensus exists regarding AGW it is that the data does not support it; and in any case science is not done by consensus. There is no such thing as “settled science.” (The “settled science” of Galileo’s day was Aristotelianism, which held that the earth was at the center of the universe. Newtonian physics, which unlike AGW, has made many successful predictions, was “settled science” for two centuries, until Einstein published his theory of Relativity in 1905. Neither the AGW climate models nor the politicians/minions spouting them have made ANY accurate predictions. The poles have normal amounts of ice, no coastal city has been submerged, etc. The most polite thing that can be said about it is that it is a failed hypothesis.)
(6) Since the AGW agenda became a political issue approximately 30% of US weather stations have either been shut down, or the data from them is no longer added to the record. Other socialist countries have done the same. Many of those temperature instruments that remain are in cities, where the “heat island” effect artificially raises their readings; and satellites are calibrated by ground readings.
(7) Older data sets have been “adjusted”–altered in ways that consistently support the notion and narrative of AGW. From official records the Medieval Warm Period(1000-1350 A.D.), the Little Ice Age (~1600’s) and the cooling trend after 1940 have been erased. A recent scientific paper concluded that the government data sets on which claims of AGW are based have been so corrupted that no valid conclusions can be drawn from them one way or the other. In the mean time the archived old data is beginning to be re-published and compared, and the bias of the adjusted data is being exposed.
(8) It is observed, looking back, that, in addition to famines and social upheavals, large volcanos and major earthquakes are more frequent and more likely during Grand Solar Minimums. We don’t yet know why. For example, the eruption of Mt. Tambora in the Fall of 1815 occurred in the midst of the Dalton Minimum, making a bad situation worse. 1816 was “the year without a summer.”
(9) “…there is as much as $2.5 billion in government climate science research funding available each year, and climate scientists who want to get their hands on that money need to come out in favor of the global warming position.” ~ John Coleman, founder of The Weather Channel.
Manipulating the content of research publications by funding only the desired conclusions is not science, it is politics. Thereafter calling the results “science” is fraud.
(10) There has been heavy snowfall in the Sahara desert for the second year in a row, at about the same latitude as New Orleans.
Here are more detailed graphs of the last four sunspot cycles. Note that each one is lower than the previous, and that cycle 24, which we are coming to the end of, is about half as high as cycles 21 and 22. Models of the magnetic cycles that give rise to the sunspots explain the twin peaks that are forming, and also predict that the overall curve will drop even lower in cycles 25 and 26, which are coming. We now know the mechanism which connects these sunspot numbers to climate, and this understanding gives us reason to expect that the next 35 to 70 years will bring us much colder weather.
There is strong evidence that we are heading into a Grand Solar Minimum. The indicated preparation for this would be to get ready for many consecutive years of very cold weather, food shortages, and for the societal changes that may occur as the rest of the world copes with it.