September 2, 2008

Zero August Sunspots

Not for 100 years has an entire month passed without a sunspot -- until August 2008.  Sunspot data has been collected since 1749.

In the past 1000 years, three previous such events -- the Dalton, Maunder, and Spörer Minimums, have all led to rapid cooling. One was large enough to be called a "mini ice age". For a society dependent on agriculture, cold is more damaging than heat. The growing season shortens, yields drop, and the occurrence of crop-destroying frosts increases.

Notice in the above chart, also, how the Modern Maximum in sunspot activity matches so well the high temperatures of the last decade of the twentieth century and how it also seems to match the last decades downturn in temperatures despite the increasing CO2 in the atmosphere.

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