Sunday, March 29, 2009

As sunspots go away, so do hurricanes

I had wanted to post on permafrost tonight, but I got a call from the guy leasing my ranch to discuss several issues, so I didn't have time to write the permafrost issue. Thus, we will discuss hurricane energy levels. The global warming hysteriacs, as well as movies (Hypercane) depict a world of global warming with extreme hurricanes. The problem is that the sun, the driver of the earth's energy, decided to go on strike.

One of the fascinating things that is happening right now is that the sunspot cycle, cycle 23, has turned out to be one of the longer cycles. If cycle 23 was an average cycle, cycle 24 would have started at least by early 2007. But here we are in 2009 and the sun is still not producing very many sunspots.

You can see that the present cycle has only 1 possible sunspot this month, yet by this time the previous 5 cycles are producing anywhere from 40-160 sunspots per month. Clearly something has changed with the sun. Whatever it is it changes the quantity of energy sent to the earth. Below is a graph of how the energy of the sun varies over the sunspot cycle.

The dips in the graph are when the sun is not producing sunspots. You can see that at sunspot minimum the sun sends to the earth about 3 watts per meter squared less than it does at sunspot maximum. That is a huge quantity of energy not reaching the earth.

But when the sun is emitting less energy, that has impacts on the earth. Right now we are experiencing one of the longer periods of low solar irradiance and we are also seeing the energy dissipated by hurricanes plummet. Below is a chart of the accummulated energy released by hurricanes all over the world. You can see that it has absolutely plummeted since 2006, the year when the first day without sunspots occurred in this cycle. Note that the hurricane energy plummeted about the same time that the number of sunspots started to plummet--in 2006.

This picture is from this source. That site says that tropical cyclone energy is at a 30 year low. I thought we were supposed to have hypercanes.

The global warming hysteriacs are not paying attention to the sun and its impact on the climate. According to them, the sun isn't powerful enough to impact the climate. Only CO2 is powerful enough to impact the climate.

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