It also prompted a cooling and collapse of Earth's upper atmosphere
you had better not let lewis hear you talk like that
Scientists reckon they've cracked the mystery as to why during 2008-2009, the Sun was completely devoid of sunspots for almost two years. This deepest solar minimum in a century, marking the end of sunspot cycle 23, saw the Sun's global magnetic field and solar wind weaken, allowing dangerous cosmic rays to sweep the inner …
... that climate scientists in some way "ignore" the effects of the sun on global temperatures and therefore global warming is just caused by the sun getting a bit hotter or some change in the sunspots. I wonder where they think all the energy inputs come from in the scientists' climate models.
... before leaping to making premature predictions.
If you read the supplementary data PDF to the nature letter, you'll see that they're still trying to establish whether their model represents what the meridional flows within the sun were actually doing. The model does reproduce the observed sunspot minimum, and therefore suggests a possible mechanism, but the authors are not claiming that it has yet been shown that this was the actual mechanism.
An interesting comment on the Nature site by a David Hathway is here:
suggesting that the model, whilst generating observed sunspot behaviour, relies on a model of meridional flow at the start of the cycle which was exactly opposite to the flow observed at that time.
It seems the model ignored the reality. I got bad grades at school when I tried that, and I was't on anybody's payroll.
The sun rings like a spherical bell. From that they have made a "computer model". The construction of such models began back in the 1980's. The problem with such models is and always has been that it is anything goes unless you have a great many observations to guide you in the construction of your model. Beginning to sound familiar, yet? That's right! We can't even come up with a workable model for planet Earth and we have started to tackle the modelling of the sun BEFORE we started trying to model our own atmosphere.
Computer models are no different from any other form of theorizing, save that they are even more susceptible to the biases of their authors. The probability of getting a grossly biased conclusion from a computer model is much higher than the use of any other sort of tool. Even if the model proves strongly predictive there is no guarantee that it has anything to do with actual reality. As a potential problem of this type,
I point out the difficulty with the Ptolemaic Model versus the Copernican Model of the solar system. For years and years the Ptolemaic Model of the Solar System was able to deliver better results. This was because Copernicus had made the mistake of assuming that planetary orbits were circular rather than elliptical. Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler sorted this out much later, but before they could get it all sorted out, the Catholic Church got involved. In those days the Church was as much a part of politics as breathing.
Lesson learned? Don't drag your politicians into the scientific debate until you are ABSOLUTELY sure that the science is completely done.
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