Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

A Hotter Sun May Be Contributing To Global Warming

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the or-a-shrinking-orbit dept.

Space 536

no reason to be here writes "The sun seems to be getting hotter. Total radiation output has increased .05% per decade since the 1970s. This article over at Yahoo! News has the scoop. Though .05% may not seem like much, if it has been going on for the last century or more (and circumstantial evidence suggest that it has), it could be a significant factor in the increase in global average temperature noticed during the 20th century."

cancel ×

536 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Adrian Voinea (216087) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579503)

fp 4 lug mumu de la nus fuck us

On fark (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579506)

I've noticed a lot of these posts have been on Fark before here. Stop stealing them!

But (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579599)

If fark posts them, the 8-13 year old crowd sees them.

If slashdot posts them, the 14-18 year old crowd sees them.

yes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579507)

First post ghey linux faggorts.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579508)

fp! wow first time for me :) (it rhymes)

Law of thermodynamics (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579509)

Hrm. .05% of something as large as the sun is a lot of energy. So much for evolutions sacred law of thermodynamics.

Circumstantial Evidence (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579510)

Well, that's a kind of evidence...

Double the cookage (0, Insightful)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579514)

Well then, in addition to the deteriorating atmosphere a small increase in the Sun's output of radiation only compounds the global warming problem.

The threat [gortbusters.org] of global warming is real.

How long before... (4, Insightful)

aepervius (535155) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579533)

...some country have a scientific comitee (*cough* US *cough*) use this as an argument there isn't global warming due to pollution and that one don't really have to reduce CO2 emission or other Serre-effect gas ?

Re:How long before... (0, Flamebait)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579558)


(*cough* Bush Administration *cough*)

Re:How long before... (0, Flamebait)

operagost (62405) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579632)

*cough* left-wing apologist *cough*

Re:How long before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579684)

*cough* dick head *cough*

Re:How long before... (5, Insightful)

Frostalicious (657235) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579580)

...some country have a scientific comitee (*cough* US *cough*) use this as an argument there isn't global warming due to pollution and that one don't really have to reduce CO2 emission or other Serre-effect gas ?

The US government ALREADY doesn't take global warming seriously. Bush was pretty quick on the draw to withdraw from the Kyoto protocol when he entered office. I guess Kyoto and pumpin oil don't mix.

G Dubya withdraws from Kyoto [bbc.co.uk]

Re:How long before... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579646)

A moot point since both parties in the Senate were strongly against a Protocol that did not also apply to developing nations.

Re:How long before... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579704)

The SENATE voted 95-0 not to implement the Kyoto accords.

Why?? Maybe because it only hurt the U.S. and did not apply to China or India! It had nothing to do with the environment, and everything to do with hurting the American economy.

Re:How long before... (5, Insightful)

dubl-u (51156) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579638)

Although the more reasonable response is probably to say, "Gosh, if the sun is getting hotter, we'd better make deeper cuts in CO2 emissions to compensate."

Alas, reason is out of style.

Re:Double the cookage (5, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579608)

The weather is what it is. To the degree that global warning is occurring, the question is what the cause or causes are of that change.

I'm prepared to believe that CO2 is the primary culprit, but I regard as a question of science, not blind religious faith. The mindset you and "aepervius" seem to have, that CO2 must be treated as the cause of climate change, regardless of what new facts emerge, is, well, embarassing.

Ha (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579515)

Take that tree huggers.

.05% doesn't seem like much... (1)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579516)


...until you start talking about the enormous quantities of radiation something like the sun gives off? Apparently this is no great cause for alarm or we'd have heard this before. Anyways, .05% sounds like a large amount of steady change to me.

Re:.05% doesn't seem like much... (1)

NightEyes Decorum (632494) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579569)

.05% is kind of an insignificant number. I also wonder if they took into account variations in the earths orbit around the sun.

Re:.05% doesn't seem like much... (4, Insightful)

gilroy (155262) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579607)

Blockquoth the poster:
.05% is kind of an insignificant number.

Yes, which is why the scientist said that it would be significant if it's been going on for a century or so. That would be a 5% increase (actually more, due to the wonders of compound interest), which certainly would be important.

Waaaiiitt just a minute. (5, Funny)

taliver (174409) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579517)

The sun has been causing global warming? Now who would have ever expected a giant ball of uncontrolled nuclear explosions to change at all and have any effect on the warming of our planet.

I'm still believing it's the cow farts.

Re:Waaaiiitt just a minute. (3, Informative)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579696)

I was gonna go for the sarcastic comment... of course it's ultimately the sun's radiation which is warming the planet. The problem is that while the atmosphere is losing its ability to filter radiation, the radiation is slightly increasing.

Double take (5, Funny)

redGiraffe (189625) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579518)

Sun Microsystems is WHAT?!

Re:Double take (1)

RalphBNumbers (655475) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579562)

Apparently, the increase in heat output from processors made by Sun Microsystems and others has increased to the point it's affecting global temperatures!

It's a heat crisis!
Everyone needs to turn off their computers and let the world cool down for a while.

Re:Double take (1)

questionlp (58365) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579643)

A lot of desktop and mobile processors aren't putting out their maximum amount of heat while idle, mostly if the operating system is issuing HLT commands. Of course, that isn't true if you are running Folding@Home, Seti@Home or dnet 24x7. Other culprits are the high-end video cards (including the GeForce FX) mostly when overclocked.

It's isn't really the UltraSPARC III Cu we should worry about either... look at the Itanium 2 which chews through a maximum of 120W/hr or even the multi-core POWER4 processors from IBM.

Still, turning off or putting your machine into suspend/sleep mode will at least help with cutting down power use. Also, turn off your monitors ;)

Re:Double take (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579571)

Sun Microsystems is causing Global warming,

REMOVE java & StarOffice from your computers IMMDEIATELY!!!

Re:Double take (1)

riqnevala (624343) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579690)

Sometimes Sun JVM is causing "local" warming, burning out 0.05% more nerds.

Re:Double take (4, Funny)

SlashdotLemming (640272) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579683)

And you thought Microsoft got blamed for everything

Shucks..... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579521)

We'll just have to find yet another ruse as to why we need to turn to communism [www.gci.ch] .

This seems... (1)

dfj225 (587560) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579522)

more logical than what they have been saying about global warming being caused by "greenhouse gases" and whatnot. Plus, who really knows about temperature, its not exactly something that you can study for a week and reach a conclusion. You need years (probably thousands) to do things accurately. Plus, if you look back temperatures on earth over time (sorry no links at the moment) it appears to have a sinusodial appearance. Eh, I'm not worried about it.

Re:This seems... (4, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579557)

more logical than what they have been saying about global warming being caused by "greenhouse gases" and whatnot.

"Global warming" is a documented scientific fact. Without the greenhouse effect our planet would be uninhabitable.

Now whether this effect has been exacerbated by human creation of greater atmospheric carbon dioxide, hydrofluorocarbons, etc., that's up for debate. Personally I think since we're not sure, we should err on the side of caution and try and cut emissions as much as possible.

Re:This seems... (-1, Flamebait)

Usquebaugh (230216) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579645)

Well as long as it's a 'documented scientific fact' and not some other documented fact. I mean science never get's it wrong and on the odd occasion when it does not have the complete picture scientists will always admit their error.

Science the new religion for idiots.

Re:This seems... (1, Flamebait)

nomadic (141991) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579688)

You believe the earth is flat, don't you?

Re:This seems... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579586)

Keeping our atmosphere clean is a good idea anyway, no matter whether the greenhouse effect is real or not. I don't know about you, but I do not enjoy air pollution very much.

Just goes to show one thing... (4, Insightful)

StandardCell (589682) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579525)

No matter how much we humans think we can figure out about our world and the universe, there's always some phenomenon that we don't account for yet we plod forward anyway. This is not to say that humans are not contributing to global warming, but we should be looking more into the natural physical phenomena that could be contributing to a problem that affects us.

And no, this isn't an excuse for the rabid dogs on either side of the environmental debate to start jumping up and down either for or against human contributions to global warming, nor is it our only problem. I hope this discussion doesn't turn into this, though I fear it will.

arrogance (5, Insightful)

doce (31638) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579530)

i always thought it was arrogance to suggest that, to the exclusion of all other factors, humans had the greatest impact on global warming.

don't think me a corporate whore or anti-environmentalist; i'm willing to bet that we have some impact... i just think we don't know enough about our ecosystem and it's interaction with the universe around us to automatically assume that it's all our fault.

Re:arrogance (5, Interesting)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579596)

don't think me a corporate whore or anti-environmentalist; i'm willing to bet that we have some impact... i just think we don't know enough about our ecosystem and it's interaction with the universe around us to automatically assume that it's all our fault.

You know, back in the 1970s, the Green movement was most worried about global cooling. We're overdue for another ice age, they apparently come every 10,000 years or so. The Green's prescription for staving off this threat was to burn less fossil fuel, cut down fewer trees and so on. Fast forward to the 90s and global warming is in vogue. The cure? Burn less fossil fuel, etc.

It's beginning to look like their agenda all along was to slow economic activity, and concern about the environment was only ever a vehicle for pushing that agenda. So don't feel bad about questioning the Green orthodoxy, because it's changed 180-degrees in the not too distant past, and they probably don't even believe it themselves.

Not that we shouldn't conserve fossil fuels; they're going to run out sooner or later. And pollution is bad, it just makes cities unpleasant. And I like furry animals as much as the next man, and I'd rather they weren't driven to extinction. But fight these things for a real reason, not one that doesn't hold stand up to scrutiny.

Re:arrogance (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579674)

While I think there are still unanswered questions about human generated CO2, the reality is that we have significantly increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.

I am not for shutting down the global economy to reduce CO2 emmissions over the short term, but I think the industrialized countries should consider research on reasonable non-CO2 emitting technologies (i.e. safer nuclear fission) to hedge our bets.

Re:arrogance (5, Insightful)

dubl-u (51156) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579700)

So don't feel bad about questioning the Green orthodoxy, because it's changed 180-degrees in the not too distant past, and they probably don't even believe it themselves.

I'm all for questioning orthodoxy!

But I also question your ability to read the minds of people you apparently haven't met. I know a number of people who do environmental work for a living. As in everything else, some are clueless and some are happy to take somebody else's word for things that fit their prejudices. (Thanks goodness that doesn't happen here on Slashdot.) But many are smart and sincere, and have the kinds of science background to be able to evaluate the claims well.

Re:arrogance (4, Informative)

sheldon (2322) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579701)

"And pollution is bad, it just makes cities unpleasant."

Unpleasant? Isn't that a bit of an understatement? [npr.org]

Or is death merely an unpleasant experience, like having to stand in line too long at the grocery store?

"But fight these things for a real reason, not one that doesn't hold stand up to scrutiny."

You've got a long way to go buddy if you are seeking out real reason. Claiming pollution doesn't cause any harm... Ha!

I'm not an environmentalist, but it's quite clear you've drank the anti-Environment koolaid.

Re:arrogance (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579605)

begin sarcasm/ Don't worry; in a few decades we will have destroyed our ecosystem, so it won't matter./sarcasm

Re:arrogance (3, Insightful)

Keebler71 (520908) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579612)

Exactly... any school child can tell you about ice-ages, periods of dramatic climate change and associated ocean levels. Why is it that those are natural but a 2 degree change in temperature must be caused by man?

Re:arrogance (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579665)

And the anti-environmental crowd insists that a 2 degree change in temperature must be a natural occurence. What's the difference?

Re:arrogance (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579653)

i always thought it was arrogance to suggest that, to the exclusion of all other factors, humans had the greatest impact on global warming.

That's just idiotic. "Arrogance"? Science is science, how the hell does "arrogance" enter the picture? Is it "arrogant" to think we can harness the power of nuclear fusion to create great destructive power? Well, yep, but that doesn't make it invalid.

Arrogance. Sheesh. Like emotional states effect reality.

in other news (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579531)

well break out the aerosol cans and carbon dioxide cause i'm having a party.

is earth moving closer to sun (1)

stonebeat.org (562495) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579532)

is earth moving closer to sun?

Re:is earth moving closer to sun (5, Interesting)

Sack (660286) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579613)

On a human timescale, no the earth is not moving closer to the sun. The orbits of the planets in our solar system are stable relative to any conceivable timescale. The sun is exerting some forces on the earth - very slowly decreasing our the rate that we spin on our axis, for example.

In thousands upon thousands of years, the earth will only turn on its axis once per year, always keeping the same face toward the sun as it rolls along its solar orbit. This is "tidal lock" much like the earth has achieved over the moon.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579535)

A hotter stove led to the 2nd degree burn

Greenie whinging (4, Funny)

BitwizeGHC (145393) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579537)

Watch the environmentalists whinge about how all our use of fossil fuels is contributing to solar warming.

I think Al Gore has a new plank for 2004...

Re:Greenie whinging (2, Funny)

The Ape With No Name (213531) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579583)

I think Al Gore has a new plank for 2004...

He's not running, cheif.

What's a cheif? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579659)

Is it a logical construct like an if statement or something?

Or maybe you can't spell "chief", Chief?
Good shot dude, an A for effort in coming off as an arrogant dickhole. F for execution though, thanks for playing, "Chief."

Re:Greenie whinging (1, Flamebait)

Azureflare (645778) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579604)

How much do you like breathing smog? You must like it a lot. Try sticking your head behind a car's tailpipe and see how long you can stay there. Oh wait, that's right, you never go outside anyway.

All Al Gore will be worrying about in 2004... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579654)

...is selling 64-bit Macs.

enough is enough (5, Funny)

arcite (661011) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579539)

The EVIL sun and its weapons of mass destruction must be stopped! If the sun does not capitulate and give up its weapons of mass destruction, a coalition of the willing will be led to rid the earth of this tyranny! Support Earth! Donate your Ice cubes. If you are not with us, you are with the EVIL Heat producing SUN!

Re:enough is enough (4, Funny)

Keebler71 (520908) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579626)

I heard the sun also drives an SUV... that bastard.

Re:enough is enough (1)

rastachops (543268) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579669)

I heard it was just americans that drive SUV's...

Re:enough is enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579666)

Next stop: the moon and its evil tides!!

Re:enough is enough (1)

joyoflinux (522023) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579689)

New axis of evil:
1. Iraq
2. Iran
3. North Korea
4. Sun

Re:enough is enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579697)

Can't attack the sun, it has nuclear weapons (and have shown willingness to use them all the time).

Its because of me. (0)

Istealmymusic (573079) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579540)

Of course.

Right, sure (1)

n1ywb (555767) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579542)

The sun is getting hotter! We're serious! See, we were right all along, all the fossile fuels we've burned haven't had any effect on the climate. There is plenty of oil left for the next 200 years and you'll be dead by then so who cares?

This sounds like a big-oil scam to me. I wish it was, because it obviously isn't. But I'm sure they'll use this to their advantage to justify not making cars more fuel efficient, building more coal burning plants, drilling in Alaska, etc.

Re:Right, sure (1)

rusty spoon (564695) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579584)

"See, we were right all along, all the fossile fuels we've burned haven't had any effect on the climate."

Of course not directly. But because we've burnt all that coal and oil the earth is now lighter and is slowly spiraling in towards the sun.

Pretty soon a manned mission to mars won't be much more difficult than getting to the moon...and it might make for a handy stopping off point for those that don't wish to burn in enternal damnation.

We did it, but in an entirely new and creative way. ;-)

Re:Right, sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579648)

mars if further out, not closer in

unless you were thinking of venus or mercury?

Okay... (1)

Dan Aloni (584167) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579543)

Ya' know, every once in a while they come up with an entirely new scientific excuse for global warming. Finally I'd get tired of this and begin to ignore all what is said about global warming.

The Sun is gonna get larger, starting to fuse helium, then beryllium, and finally burn the Earth in about a few billion years, so who cares anyway?

Damn those inconsiderate bastards (4, Funny)

worst_name_ever (633374) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579544)

We've got to force the people who live on the sun to stop using styrofoam boxes for their Big Macs!

Re:Damn those inconsiderate bastards (1)

TheShadow (76709) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579660)

Oh my god... best /. sig ever!!!!

It's the SUVs (4, Funny)

Tailhook (98486) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579545)

Due to the large amount of ore that must be refined to build SUV for Americans, the magnetosphere of Earth has deformed and is now causing the Solar Corona to expand. This expansion is causing increased radiation, and hence, higher ambient temperatures on Earth.

Damn... (1)

Peterus7 (607982) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579547)

Not only is global warming going on due to the greenhouse effect, but we've got the sun getting hotter!

We're screwed. It's been nice chatting with all of you guys, you're great. See you all in hell, or heaven, or purgatory, if you're catholic.

Now all we need is to hear that jupiter has started to fall towards us.

Mars (1)

ExEleven (601282) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579548)

If it keeps up, mars will warm up and might become inhabitable, and also we might have to retreat there. Oh well, not for a while ;-)

Too short a baseline (4, Interesting)

David Kennedy (128669) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579549)

I strongly doubt that there is enough evidence to support such a claim at the present time. The era of satellite observations of the sun has only really just started, and any rise may be simply noise from a short duration sample, or due to the decreasing minimum signal capable of being detected.

It's an interesting claim, but the authors are going to have to do a lot of convincing, and in the meantime this news will be twisted to support those opposed to, say, the Kyoto treaty.

Re:Too short a baseline (3, Insightful)

Keebler71 (520908) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579639)

R..I..G..H..T... but I am sure you are quick to interpret a century of temperature readings (most of which are wildly inaccurate by today's standards) to support your theories of global warming.

Re; Victorian Ice Spells (1)

MyGirlFriendsBroken (599031) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579551)

This would certainly seen to make sence considering the cold spells which were experience around 1900s. With in mind the film footage of cars driving on the Thames (main river through London, England) round people ice skating when in winter it would completely freez over.

I'm not completely sure though that the amount of greenhouse gases some of the nation of the world(including mine) have given out can be counted as blameless.

It's the sun's fault? (1)

ArsonPanda (647069) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579552)

WOOOOOHOOO! Time to bust out my H2! 9mpg *this* Baby!!

..And it will soon explode! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579553)

It's true! I saw it on the newstand at the grocery: THE SUN WILL EXPLODE IN LESS THAN 6 YEARS [weeklyworldnews.com]

yet another excuse (4, Interesting)

Ubi_NL (313657) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579554)

Is this just another saying that we son't need to cut down on oil consumption? That air pollution really isn't a problem? No matter whether global warming is due to excess CO2 production or increased solar output, fact remains that our addiction to oil is completely fucking up our climate

now let the americans mod this down.

Re:yet another excuse (-1)

Original AIDS Monkey (315494) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579591)

No matter whether global warming is due to excess CO2 production or increased solar output, fact remains that our addiction to oil is completely fucking up our climate

Amen! Science be damned! We've already blamed everything on oil... too late to go back now!

Re:yet another excuse (1)

The Ape With No Name (213531) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579625)

Wh00t! Here's an American who loves ya, babe!

Re:yet another excuse (4, Insightful)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579681)

Is this just another saying that we son't need to cut down on oil consumption?

No. The article cites the leader of the study as indicating that you shouldn't draw such a conclusion from it:

That does not mean industrial pollution has not been a significant factor, Willson cautioned.

so he explicitly says that this does not show that you can't blame it on greenhouse gases.

That air pollution really isn't a problem?

No, because there are forms of air pollution other than CO2, and they also cause problems.

No matter whether global warming is due to excess CO2 production or increased solar output, fact remains that our addiction to oil is completely fucking up our climate

So, if global warming is not at all due to excess CO2 production (as opposed to being due to increased solar output and excess CO2 production, which is one possibility), what part of climate fuckage is caused by our use of oil?

Where to go from here? (1)

Blaine Hilton (626259) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579560)

I have two comments, first on a larger scale we need to explore other planets and colonize them. Its really that simple. There may or may not be aliens that could attack us here, but there are other problems, like the Sun now becoming hotter, and a possible astroid. Much like data centers, we need redundancy! My other comment is that people still need to be concerned about the environment, not just about global warming, but also with all of the other problems that our polution has caused.

End near? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579564)

Wouldn't it be nifty if they found that the sun is turning to a red giant right now, and we have 50 years before we are cooked. Space race all over again anyone?

Re:End near? (3, Funny)

SlashdotLemming (640272) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579707)

Wouldn't it be nifty if they found that the sun is turning to a red giant right now, and we have 50 years before we are cooked.

no

Big oil says: solar power is to blame! (4, Funny)

PseudoThink (576121) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579567)

The sun is increasing output just to keep up with our solar power demands. Soon the oceans will start rising from our wave-power harvesting generators, and the earth is already spinning slower due to wind powered turbines! People of the earth unite: stop using these dangerous alternative fuels! Petroleum-based fuel sources are the only way to keep our planet safe for our cihldren and their SUVs!

Should also mention the Maunder Minimum.... (4, Interesting)

Doctor Fishboy (120462) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579572)

There has been a suggestion that weather is tied in with long term variability of the Sun, and many astronomers cite the case of the Maunder minimum [stsci.edu] back in the 1700's where a lack of sunspot activity was linked to a succession of very cold winters in the Northern hemisphere.

The problem is that solar-type stars may vary on timescales of hundreds and thousands of years (in addition to the known sunspot cycle of our Sun of about 11 years), dominating the long term weather patterns here on Earth. It's still a highly debated point, though, mostly because we've only head modern instruments doing accurate solar flux monitoring for the past 50 years or so, and before that we have to rely on indirect methods, such as historical records of large groups of sunspots seen with the unaided eye.

One of the longest running experiments in modern astronomy has been the monitoring of solar-type stars at the Mount Wilson Observatory in Southern California. I was fortunate enough to meet the people who run this experiment - it's not too often you see papers with 40 years of data from the same instrument!

Dr Fish

Re:Should also mention the Maunder Minimum.... (1)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579634)

Dr. Fishboy? Mt Wilson Observatory?

Is Dr. Fishboy by chance Gordon (Caltech '90)?

Note to mods: no email in Dr. Fish's profile.

All the more reason (5, Insightful)

bigberk (547360) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579576)

Since there's enough evidence to suggest that burning fossil fuels affects climate change, and also the sun is getting hotter, this is all the more reason that we must control our consumption (the former variable, within our control). Anything less would be reckless.

Before We Wack Out On "Global Warming Isn't Real" (4, Insightful)

Zoop (59907) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579577)

If the Sun is indeed warming, then we may still need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The last thing you want to do on a hotter stove is clamp the lid tighter.

Sigh. If Greenies had just concentrated on the fact of global temperature increase or decrease, the debate would be simply on technical solutions. Instead they made it a religious issue. Now any time something like this comes out, those of the other religion will start demanding sacrifices of oil.

Re:Before We Wack Out On "Global Warming Isn't Rea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579676)

Umm...no one said Global Warming wasn't real. The debate is the matter of "why".

I think you'll even find quite a few of those evil republicans and conservatives who will acknowledge that yes...temperatures are on an upward trend. Because they kinda are.

Ohhhh Yeah (3, Funny)

ihatewinXP (638000) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579587)

What's that? It wasn't the ozone layer and freon gasses and stuff? Well before we get into where we are going to pollute first let me say that i've been sitting on a crate of XTRA-CRA-Z Brand hair spray for about a decade now and tomorrow that 12" mowhawk is back man. The 80's bad hair will live again!

Palm Trees (5, Informative)

smillie (30605) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579590)

One of the more interesting things my geologist friend pointed out to me was the fossel recond in Michigan (for our European friends, Michigan is a state on the border with Canada). We have palm tree fossels all over Michigan. Our current climate won't support palms now but some time long ago Michigan was much warmer than it is now.

He also mentioned that Michigan was buried under about a mile of ice at one time too.

These weather changes were long before man came on the scene. I'm all for Michigan becoming tropical again but that is likely to cause problems for the southern part of the US.

Scientists prove guns dont kill! (2, Funny)

happyhippy (526970) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579595)

A recent study, funded by the NRA, proved that guns dont actually kill people.
It was found that 100% of so called 'gun related' deaths were actually caused by the Sun!

Charlton Heston remarked "Get you're hand of me you damn dirty ape!"

At this rate... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579597)

when the Sun will be oficially in a nova state?

Sounds Reasonable... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579611)

I have always thought that global warming was caused by something other than humans. After all we've gone through a couple of ice ages so far, which tells me that it's completely natural for slow (albiet drastic) temperature changes.

Unless the theory is that dinosaurs also used aerosol cans, leading to their own demise. Asteroid theory, ha! The pieces start to fall together...

Note to moderators: The first paragraph is insightful, the second is an attempt at humor.

He warns us *NOT* to assume this means CO2 is OK (5, Informative)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579624)

The article says

That does not mean industrial pollution has not been a significant factor, Willson cautioned.

so, no, this

  • is not just some evil US/oil company plot to discredit the idea that greenhouse gases contribute to global warming;
  • is not an indication that all those people saying that greenhouse gases contribute to global warming were wrong and we don't have to worry about continuing to burn fossil fuels.

Note, for instance, that the article also says

In what could be the simplest explanation for one component of global warming, a new study shows the Sun's radiation has increased by .05 percent per decade
since the late 1970s.

The increase would only be significant to Earth's climate if it has been going on for a century or more, said study leader Richard Willson, a Columbia University researcher also affiliated with NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

(emphasis mine).

I.e., they have only observed it over a approximately 20-year period, so they don't know whether it's been going on for a century or more, but if it hasn't, it wouldn't make a significant difference to the climate.

No... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5579631)

Freaking... way...
That's so counterintuitive.

could it be (3, Insightful)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579637)

that man's activities have had little or no effect on the climate of the earth, and the fossil record *proves* the average temperature of the earth has been much higher and much lower in the past, that the size and shape of ozone hole is purely due to solar cycles, and insolation is the key to climate?

I could've used some of that "warming" a month ago (1)

HealYourChurchWebSit (615198) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579672)

I'm just kidding, still, considering the pounds of snow we had to shovel this past winter here in the Costal Mid Atlantic USA, I could have used a bit-o-warm sun.

This just in ... (5, Funny)

Bodhidharma (22913) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579677)

The oceans are suspected of contibuting to global humidity.

We must stop the terror of Sun! (5, Funny)

Penguuu (263703) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579679)

Quick! Call Mr. Burns!

Actually... (1)

tsaler (569835) | more than 11 years ago | (#5579685)

Actually, if you think about it, nature may be able to tolerate all that is being done to the environment by people in the sense that it has experienced both far higher and far lower temperatures before. Perhaps humans are not directly responsible for global warming, but I do believe that it's fair to say that if nature begins to become severely damaged by the actions of humans, that nature will eliminate humans to preserve itself. Wouldn't that be cute?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>