back to article Sunspots linked to Aussie droughts?

An Australian scientist has proposed a link between the solar cycle of sunspots, and rainfall in the eastern region of his native land. He says that data going back 100-years show a correlation between solar activity, the polarity of the sun's magnetic field, and periods of drought. If he is right, this winter (summer, up here …


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  1. Sam Millner

    So I was hearing...

    'The Great Global Warming Swindle' which was on C4 recently (a must watch for all), they were saying that sunspots are the cause of most of the worlds weather, and showed charts which strongly suggested that their weather predictions were far more accurate than those of the weather people (who said it would be the worst winter ever in the UK, and it wasn't). He, again, said that sunspots are, at least in part, responsible for the 100 year drought that parts of Australia are currently struggling with.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And so I wad reading ...

    Al Gore is getting drilled in Washington by two senators, a democrat and republican, about global warming. I saw some questions, and they are going to destroy him.

    Here is one question.

    "Mr. Gore: How can you continue to claim that global warming on Earth is primarily caused by mankind when other planets (Mars, Jupiter and Pluto) with no confirmed life forms and certainly no man-made industrial greenhouse gas emissions also show signs of global warming? Wouldn’t it make more sense that the sun is responsible for warming since it is the common denominator?"

    I have read several times that the sun intensity is near peak and that some scientists actually predict a global cooling when the sun's intensity decreases, which they did not know when. These scientists were able to replicate an experiment showing the intensity of the sun has a direct correlation to clouds.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Great Sun Spot swindle.

    So Pluto has an atmosphere, oh and just how far from the sun is Pluto again? Wow those Senators know their astro physics, and blow me down if Jupiter being a GAS giant composed mainly of hydrogen is a prime candidate of global warming effects of Sun Spots.

    And Mars, well I shall let you read up on the what real experts on Martian climate have to say about how we can learn from its possible history.

    Oh and Sun spot cycle is no longer observed to be the reliable time piece that matches ice ages that non astronomers seem to still believe.

    (Below cut and pasted to save you the effort of reading actual scientific papers, are synopsis of why C4 programme was in itself a swindle).

    The film’s main contention is that the current increase in global temperatures is caused not by rising greenhouse gases, but by changes in the activity of the Sun. It is built around the discovery in 1991 by the Danish atmospheric physicist Dr Eigil Friis-Christensen that recent temperature variations on earth are in “strikingly good agreement” with the length of the cycle of sunspots.

    Unfortunately, he found nothing of the kind. A paper published in the journal Eos in 2004 reveals that the “agreement” was the result of “incorrect handling of the physical data”. The real data for recent years show the opposite: that the length of the sunspot cycle has in fact declined, while temperatures have risen. When this error was exposed, Friis-Christensen and his co-author published a new paper, purporting to produce similar results. But this too turned out to be an artefact of mistakes they had made – in this case in their arithmetic.

    So Friis-Christensen and another author developed yet another means of demonstrating that the Sun is responsible, claiming to have discovered a remarkable agreement between cosmic radiation influenced by the Sun and global cloud cover. This is the mechanism the film proposes for global warming. But, yet again, the method was exposed as faulty. They had been using satellite data which did not in fact measure global cloud cover. A paper in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics shows that when the right data are used, a correlation is not found.

    So the hypothesis changed again. Without acknowledging that his previous paper was wrong, Friis-Christensen’s co-author, Henrik Svensmark, declared that there was in fact a correlation – not with total cloud cover but with “low cloud cover”. This too turned out to be incorrect. Then, last year, Svensmark published a paper purporting to show that cosmic rays could form tiny particles in the atmosphere. Accompanying it was a press release which went way beyond the findings reported in the paper, claiming it showed that both past and current climate events are the result of cosmic rays.

    As Dr Gavin Schmidt of NASA has shown on, five missing steps would have to be taken to justify the wild claims in the press release. “We’ve often criticised press releases that we felt gave misleading impressions of the underlying work”, Schmidt says, “but this example is by far the most blatant extrapolation-beyond-reasonableness that we’ve seen.” None of this seems to have troubled the programme makers, who report the cosmic ray theory as if it trounces all competing explanations.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Statistics, not original research.

    Sorry for posting this and by all means dont post if it seems petty, but I went to see Professor Bakers qualifications and previous research and am left puzzled as to how his unpublished article is going to help the pro sunspot lobby with it's credibility.

    And for the record CO2 global warming still happens with or without Sunspots.

  5. storng.bare.durid

    what the heck's the real answer?

    I don't know what the real answer is... but it would seem at least if you believe the people actually in the thick of it.. that..

    1. the average global temperature is rising

    2. God, it's SHIT HOT and DRY down under...

    3. The Venetians aren't really too happy about the sea level.

    And we are, we have to admit, it would seem, altering the face of the planet much faster that it likely would be changing if we weren't around.

    We should do something about it, and to my mind, the first thing should be to try and understand what the hell is going on, by perhaps attempting to do real science free of any political influence whatsoever.

    In the meanwhile, it is probably wise NOT to mess up the Earth as far as possible.

    For want of a better anology, I prefer to live in a clean house than a pig stye so there.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They (co2 zealots) seem to have convieniently forgotten about....

    The CO2 that the ocean and volcanoes produce when responding to these contradictory articles, yes certain data in the sunspot and solar activity theories can't be verified but one thing that can be proven without question is the amount of CO2 that oceans and volcanoes produce and that the man made CO2 pales into insignificance when compared to these 2 sources that we have no control of, so CO2 zealots respond to that then?

    As the above poster says it is time to do science for science's sake and forget the political and commercial agendas and get some conclusive answers.

    If we don't we will just be pushed down the Tax route that we are heading for and will be taxed for no reason. At the end of the day we pay the governments wages and they owe us the truth, not just some bullshit that happens to favour them and their policies.

    If this research is done without prejudice and the results show conclusive proof I for one will graciously accept the results, but until then why should we when they can be shown to be on even slightly dodgy ground.

  7. SImon Hobson Silver badge

    Well I guess we'll get the results of this "experiment" in a few months ...

    Well at least here is one hypothesis that can be tested in a short timescale - all we have to do is wait a few months and see if it rains down-under !

    No doubt the great anthropomorphic global warming spin machine will come up with some plausible sounding reason why it's happened but cannot possibly be due to solar activiy.

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