Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

See Spot. See Spot On Sun? Oh No, Only One!

Environment, Going Green

Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh, and right on the heels of Earth Day! Seems there might be another nail in the coffin of Global Warming. This one comes from the lack of sunspots.

Why is that a problem? According to the editorial by Geophysicist Phil Chapman from the Australian:

...The sunspot number follows a cycle of somewhat variable length, averaging 11 years. The most recent minimum was in March last year. The new cycle, No.24, was supposed to start soon after that, with a gradual build-up in sunspot numbers.

It didn't happen. The first sunspot appeared in January this year and lasted only two days. A tiny spot appeared last Monday but vanished within 24 hours. Another little spot appeared this Monday. Pray that there will be many more, and soon.

The reason this matters is that there is a close correlation between variations in the sunspot cycle and Earth's climate. The previous time a cycle was delayed like this was in the Dalton Minimum, an especially cold period that lasted several decades from 1790.

Northern winters became ferocious: in particular, the rout of Napoleon's Grand Army during the retreat from Moscow in 1812 was at least partly due to the lack of sunspots.

That the rapid temperature decline in 2007 coincided with the failure of cycle No.24 to begin on schedule is not proof of a causal connection but it is cause for concern.

In another editorial along the same lines,  See Gore, See Spot, "former NASA astronaut [Chapman--also author of first piece] says the same solar phenomenon that doomed Napoleon's army may soon stop Al Gore's march to glory cold. Prepare for the big chill."

Of course it is too soon to know, but keeping an eye on the sunspot activity this year might be a better predictor of where you want to spend your winters when you retire than anything we have seen so far! Some scientists poo-poo the sun spot theory entirely. Only time will tell.

Links: 4th Annual Weed Out, May 3rd, Mary Knoll Park

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Brookfield7, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield
Vicki Mckenna


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