Here and there... mostly there

July 19, 2004

Sunspot activity hits 1,000-year high

New research out of Switzerland is saying that the sun has had a sustained high in sunspot activity for the past 60 years, having started to increase over the past 100-150 years.
One of the big questions about global warming has always been the role of solar radiance on temperature change. To date, there's not been a whole lot of research on it; it's certainly never been used in any of the modeling used to re-create global warming.
It's tempting to say, "Hmmm... just about the time of the increase in global temperatures, the sun starts getting more active". And I will say it. It looks pretty interesting. But it could be coincidental. There's not enough data in to really tell. The British paper The Telegraph, I think, is jumping the gun a tad.
This is most certainly a story that needs to be followed. After all, it can't be true that an increase in industrialization--and concomitant air pollution--is causing sunspot activity on the sun!