- Written by Marc Courtenay
- Thursday, 12 May 2011
“Current prediction for the next sunspot cycle maximum gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 62 in July of 2013. We are currently over two years into Cycle 24. The predicted size would make this the smallest sunspot cycle in nearly 200 years.” - “Solar Cycle 16 peaked at 78 in 1928.”
Here's one of the most detailed photos of a sun spot captured and released by the Big Bear Solar Observatory in California.The whole event was captured by Big Bear’s New Solar Telescope (NST), which has a resolution covering about 50 miles on the Sun’s surface.
“The current suncycle -24 with 62 sunspots as peak number- is even less active than the less active recorded of the last century -suncycle 16 with 78 sunspots as peak number-.” - “In the 17th century the sun plunged into a 70-year period of spotlessness known as the Maunder Minimum that still baffles scientists.”
“2008 was a bear. There were no sunspots observed on 266 of the year's 366 days (73% of the days no sunspots). To find a year with more blank suns, you have to go all the way back to 1913, which had 311 spotless days: plot. Prompted by these numbers, some observers suggested that the solar cycle had hit bottom in 2008. Maybe not. Sunspot counts for 2009 have dropped even lower. As of March 31st, there were no sunspots on 78 of the year's 90 days (87% of the days no sunspots).”
For a historical chart of sunspot maximums see: http://science.nasa.gov/media/medialibrary/2009/05/29/29may_noaaprediction_resources/maunderminimum_strip2.gif.
Sunspot activity has increased in 2011. Still we need to explore the consequences of solar minimums. We don't know the delay time between sunspots appearances and rain volume yet. Maybe this is longer than we think right now. 1913 was the last so deep solar minimum, the drought effects of that deep solar minimum can to surface in both agriculture and economy quite some years.
Low sunspots numbers, means a less active sun (deep solar minimum). This maybe not effect photosynthesis directly by less intense light (as the lower sun intensity maybe is compensated by less clouds, but on the sunspot/cloud relation there are opposite views), but it will effect severely the evaporation of ocean water and by that the amount of rain. This results in severe lower water for agriculture and therefore to less growth and (more severe) blowing away of the dry fertile top soil layers, which gives a decade of high food prices.
Proof of this you can find in history: the dust bowls of the thirties of the last century are well known: the agricultural disaster in the USA in the twenties and the thirties of the last century. See for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_Bowl.
Based on my research, the conclusion that the Great Depression was more triggered by an (sunspot minimum driven) agricultural collapse in the twenties in the USA than everybody expects is valid. Lots of farming immigrants returned to their homelands in Europe. Not only the losers, also the big/strong names before the drought. Everybody takes food for granted, but that’s a huge misconception.
The increasing dust storms are explainable: a) less evaporation equals less rain equals dryer soils (and by that wind has more impact), b) less evaporation equals less dew equals dryer soils (and by that wind has more impact) and c) low moisturized air has less mass and is thereby easier in acceleration and thereby more unstable (as it much easier and travels thereby longer). By the way: Less rain/dew also cause more bush fires and smoke due to these fires.
Both CERN and the Danish are researching cloud formation (cosmic dust/radiation as possible trigger for atmospheric condensation). Artificial electro based cloud formation will developed: ELF (Extremely Low Frequency) science will deliver for sure a technology of stealing other nation's rain and by that delivers huge international regional tensions. For more on ELF see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extremely_low_frequency.
Less rain/dew certainly will increase regional tensions between water deficit nations. The importance of mutual interest, tensions preventing water diplomacy will rise severely, but the pressure on these diplomats will be increased certainly. This drought will be the maximal in by continental climate characterized regions.
The less rain/dew consequence of lower sunspot numbers certainly will be hijacked by the politicized CO2 consensus propagandizing ‘science’ movement/agenda. The fact that real science organized scepticism is, is something those political driven ‘consensus focused’ scientists don’t want to see: that’s not in the interest of both their political agenda and budget funding. Proclamation of consensus is practicing science limitation: a science targeting/limiting instead of expanding act. Consensus is the most anti-scientific attitude ever. Consensus is about politics and believes. Politics, believes and budgets are and will be the three main eroders of science. The CO2 narrow focused scientists don't understand even the most fundamental geo physical facets (like the continuous journey of both poles due a not very perfect spin of the globe, or the northern/southern hemisphere climate mirroring).
Unfortunately low sunspot numbers always results in less global rain/dew and thereby (in not water abundant areas) an agricultural system in dire straits, bankrupting farmers in dry areas, high global food prices and much civil food price driven unrest. Irrigation projects in water deficit nations should be governmental priority numbero uno (also by the geocold based night condensation systems, which can compensate water supply in areas where's a rain deficit).
The sunspots/foodprices link is absolutely not new science (only the sunspot/rain link is): William Herschel (1738-1822) attempted already in 1801 to correlate the annual number of sunspots to the price of grain in London. The only change maybe will be a research focus towards less rain due to less sunspots. "As part of his attempts to determine if there was a link between solar activity and the terrestrial climate, Herschel also collected records of the price of wheat, as direct meteorological measurements were not available for a sufficient period. He theorized that the price of wheat would be linked to the harvest and hence to the weather over the year. This attempt was unsuccessful due to the lack of previous solar observations against which to compare the wheat prices, but similar techniques were used later with success." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Herschel)
The main consequence will be severe lower agricultural exports of water deficit nations: as agricultural export can be described as embedded soil space and water supply export. The science of this ‘virtual/embedded water’ export is developed by Professor John Anthony Allan from King’s College London and the School of Oriental and African Studies. The global food market will be tightened and also will face national food export restrictions. By both of these developments the food prices will be driven to severe higher levels. Beside more food price driven civil unrest, also hunger driven population migration flows are possible.
Due less air humidity (and maybe to less clouds) the warmth of summers will be less tempered (hot summers) and the cold of the winters will be lees tempered too (cold winters). Less evaporation of ocean water means less temperature influence by air humidity and dew on the continents.
We don't know the evaporation volume of the oceans yet, nor the evaporation ratio of the oceans in relation to sunspot level, we also don't know the capacity of the global water cycle, nor the 'system delay' of less evaporation, nor the 'system factors'. But it's sure their is some global water cycle 'system delay' within the global evaporation/rain cycle, as historical the global drought is at it's maximum after a solar minimum (as the new water supply isn't arrived yet, the sun gains power again and cloud coverage is still low: three cumulative factors that deepen together the drought level). We know for sure that due to too low sunspot levels their will be less evaporation and so less rain and due to increasing cosmic dust due to low sunspot levels that the rain that falls, will fall on other locations than by sunspot maxima.
Another rational to analyse consequence of lower sunspot numbers (as in: a lower sun activity) is a weakening of the earth's magnetosphere and ionosphere. As result of this more cosmic dust enters our atmosphere and cloud formation of evaporated water gets speed up by this dust. This decreases the rain volume on the continents as more clouds already are generated and rained down above the oceans. Less sunspots equals less evaporation (less water input into the atmospheric water volume). Sunspots also equals earlier rain down of the atmospheric water volume (earlier water output of the atmospheric water volume). Sunspots and rain are very interconnected. Not regular floods generating massive rains are just caused by more cosmic dust due a weaker magnetosphere and ionosphere due less sunspots.
All this is why we need to abolish the narrow visioning CO2 believe as soon as possible: we need to understand the whole picture of global climate with all it's aspects and parameters as soon as possible: that would be in the interest of mankind (like better regional water management) certainly.
As long we're caught in the rigid/politicized/fearmongering CO2 believe, we will not discover very much of both earth and universe and there interaction, as we voluntary are blinded by this CO2 believe. We need certainly much more wider views than the narrow CO2 window gives us. We need a much more comprehensive science/research approach on both the the earth and the universe than the limited and politicized CO2 mantra/blinder.
The only hockey stick graphs that has proven to be right are a) the hockey stick graph of the bank account of Al Gore plus the other people involved in emission exchanges/trade, b) the hockey stick graph of climate research budgets and c) the hockey stick graph of the climate industry. All these three parties are mainly specialized in fear mongering and offer non solutions what ever, beside very much non transparent global CO2 trade, global CO2 taxes and global governance. We know since the Worldcom and Enron scandals that virtual 'assets' are very vulnerable to fraud. We know since the 'food for oil' program that all big budgets are vulnerable to fraud. We also know that democracy and distance are reversely proportional: democratic global governance is a contradiction in terms: the bigger the distance in democracy, the lower democratic qualities of the policies are. On top of all this: the only real achievement of CO2 fear mongering was delivering a nuclear fission renaissance (that by the way very quick ended with the Fukushima tragedy).
We can say all this very frankly, as we are not for profit and have no affiliation at all with the carbon (oil/coal/gas) industry and are working very hard on stimulation of development of non carbon renewable energy systems. For example: We work on third generation quantum dot based solar technology, geothermal models that could replace nuclear power plants, deserttech models that deliver both energy and water, a science/exposure/market/finance model to realize all these new installations voluminous and Energy focused/narrowed Quantitative Easing (acting as a stabilizing hedge by in value increasing energy towards the financial system with it's declining values) as financial driver to get this energy/water technology transition done in 5 till 10 years in each nation.
A new energy future can't be build/based on CO2 lies that are build on quick sand, that's not sustainable. This will back fire enormously on the creditability everyone who's is involved in research of this imaginary/fabricated problem and eats of it too towards those who feed them to do so. Governments will feel deeply deceived by this and backfires always hurt both sides involved.
We as the world has a energy problem and a water problem. And we all need to address it. Do you want to continue driven at the road of fear mongering: try the variable earth size theory, or the huge solar flare theory: both tops everything in consequences, making the proclaimed CO2 narratives to just a quiet/relaxed Sunday's walk in the park. The graphics for illustrating this fear mongering are for rent by Al Gore, but they will not change anything at all, as they aren't designed to realize change, but only for fear mongering. Or do you want to address issues we can change very easy everywhere and by everyone: being involved in realize these actual instant needed changes for a) our rain/river/waste/dew water management and/or b) a migration towards renewable energy? We think this choice is simple. What we all need is everywhere usable models. This is what we're working on.
We also don't need black/dark Malthusian visions. Malthusians with their overpopulation fetish are the less creative / black visioned people on earth: Their only solution is a) the dead of people or b) establish dictatorial governments. Quoting an über Malthusian (Prince Philip of the UK): "In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, in order to contribute something to solve overpopulation.". Malthusianism and it's fixation on death as solution is no solution at all, it's a signal of not having/seeing/endorsing answers and certainly not being creative at all. Malthus his theories on overpopulation has been proven for already more than 200 years to be wrong. We've proven to be more creative in pushing the Malthusian borders than statistic economists like Malthus expected.
Sustainable prosperity for everyone is something we can realize and by it's sustainable specifications it will contribute also to everyone. On what moral ground we can deny other people the life and lifestyle we appreciate? Malthusianism has unfortunately a severe brown political color (as in: deciding on other people's right for life).
Can a world population of 9 billion people fly several times a year? No, that's the only lifestyle change we must accept as impossible (due the energy price flying will be exclusive again). Yes, we will work closer to home, we will produce closer to markets and we will eat less meat (but there will be delicious meat replacers), but for the rest the future can be better as today, if we deal smartly with all new realities. By the way: after the population peak of 2050 the global population number will shrink automatically due smaller families. We see this development already happening in Russia and Japan. Shrinking societies will be not very strong/vital societies, as young demographics equals working power). Young demographics equals future perspectives.
In the global wealthy regions economic growth (with as main goal building wealth levels) will be replaced by economic matureness (with as main goal preserving as much of wealth levels as possible). This change will not be caused by left wing politics, by just by right wing plain economics in a globalized world. Wealthy nations slowed down in creation of value adding due their wealth: wealth has an internal brake system of taking it too much easy and too much for granted. Wealth is expensive and needs severe value creation as foundation.
Wealthy regions have faced their limits of credit driven consumption without severe value creation, they've hit the ceiling and have a severe headache due to this right now. Wealthy nations also are paying now a hidden (but severe) cost of their former superiority/colonialism: they think groundless (due to this former state of mind) that the rest of the world are more stupid and they are more clever. This misconception is the reason why there's another headache on the way for them. For both headaches nobody can be blamed, they're selfmade and will really hurt. Most wealth still is still based on credit and feed by colonialism/imperialism and those trains are bound to derail due to globalization. The old Western World lives still in an imaginary dream world and still is short-sighted due to it's own old spectacles.
Let's not even start to talk about the bad (too old) demographics the Western World faces, the crippled financial system these older demographics are totally depending on, the increasing cost of health care, nor about the spoilt attitude that can't compete at all with the ambiance of the emerging markets: four more severe headaches to come.
In wealthy nations we need to prevent the collapse of our financial system (characterized by declining values) by hedging them with our energy system (characterized by increasing values), as otherwise the financial system will collapse in the transition of economic growth into economic matureness. This as our financial system is based on growth (the money for interest payments is only created by growth).
Back to the sunspots (better said: the low numbers of them): Another not widely known consequence of low sunspot levels is the increase of near surface dust instead of rain clouds. These will cause damage serious damage to engines and accelerates paint damage, but most important: it threatens the health of people with more sensitive respiration systems. The effects of dust clouds for modern societies with it’s high tech metropolises and are not known yet. The summers of 1934 and 1936 (which were part of the first more active suncycles after a solar minimum) was the hottest summer of the last century: increasing solar activity that was not moderated by clouds/humidity due a lack of atmospheric water due to the solar minimum of the first two decades of that century and due less incoming cosmic dust due by increasing sunspots stronger magnetosphere and ionosphere less cloud formation. (http://i.usatoday.net/news/graphics/2010/2010-09-09-summer-heat/summerx.jpg)
One thing is clear: due suncycles in the next decade the food prices will rise severely, not only due to population growth and due to more meat focused diet changes driven by more purchase power, but also due to less agricultural production due less rain/dew. This food crunch (together with the energy crunch) will deliver inflation with stagflation characteristics. This on top of the energy price rise driven inflation due to the expected energy crunch (PeakEnergy) and general resources scarcity (PeakX or PeakEverything).
Anyway: a) cosmophysic sciences and geophysic sciences meets economic sciences and monetary sciences and that's interesting and b) we need to combine energy technology with water technology (there are already several renewable technologies available for combining those two) to ensure food supply in the 21st century.
We need change, real change, not just the talk. We need quantum dot based PV technology (which makes it possible to make each manmade object a solar panel functional coating), geothermal models, deserttech models, a science/exposure/market/finance model to realize all these and for Energy focused/narrowed Quantitative Easing to finance the actual realization of a fast/quick national energy transition (as continuation of energy import equals wealth export). We need science, a lot of it, interdisciplinary science we need even more.
Marc, I hope you will dig further into sunspots and their influence on the global economy and by that on everyday's live and will write articles on these subjects (less evaporation, less rain, less dew, higher food prices, more inflation, more turbulent wind, dust storms, more civil unrest and more migration flows). I'm just no more than an interdisciplinary science analyst, who tries to connect the separate dots of the separated scientific branches by research into comprehensive and easy to use/implement models.
If you have available XML datafeeds on solar activity / Wolf numbers (historical, actual and forecasts) that economists could use in their foodprices/inflation analyses/forecasts, please let me know. Media are interested in this data too: a weekly suncycle update (in a bit more graphical version) will be a regular item in each newspaper within one year from now. Just like the normal weather update, the dollar/yen and dollar/euro exchange rates, plus the oil and gas prices are regular news items in each newspaper/newssite of the world today, a weekly suncycle update will become such a regular news item too.