A Spot of Controversy
The current cycle of the sun is taking a long time to start, triggering different explanations, writes Mark Lawson in an article entitled: ‘Scientists disagree over lack of sunspots,’ published in the Australian Financial Review (subscription required).
Excerpt: Despite being dismissed by a number of scientists as of little consequence to the present discussion of climate change, the issue of the sun’s activity – or apparent lack of it – has been the subject of considerable debate in recent months. Scientists who concern themselves with the fledgling subject of space weather (changes in the sun’s emissions) have been wondering where all the sunspots have gone, when they might come back and what effect this will have on climate…..
Another scientist who says he has identified a link between the sun’s activity and climate – in particular between rainfall in Australia and sunspots – is Robert Baker, an associate professor at the University of New England’s School of Human and Environmental Studies. Baker tells the AFR he has identified a strong correlation between sunspots, the sun’s magnetic activity and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI). He says variations in the earth’s magnetic field account for about half of the variation in the SOI, and that changes in sunspot activity as an indicator of magnetic activity can be correlated with rainfall patterns in south-east Australia . The Bureau of Meteorology has rejected Baker’s reasoning and a paper by him was not accepted by the Australian Meterological Magazine. But Baker says his analysis has been accepted by the peer-reviewed journal Solar Terrestrial Physics for publication in December.