Sun spotting

Two solar related stories for you today.

A rare opportunity, to see the corona of the sun, awaits astronomers on July 22, when a total solar eclipse will occur. It will be visible in India.

“This will be the longest eclipse of this century with the maximum phase being 6 minutes 39 seconds. The next total solar eclipse that can be viewed from many parts of India will occur only on June 3, 2114,” according to P. Iyamperumal, Executive Director, Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Centre, Chennai.

Wednesday’s eclipse will also be visible over some of the Japanese Islands, China and South Pacific Ocean. [Link to Source]

And this story about the sun’s missing spots which we have referred to several times here before on ww.

Ever since Samuel Heinrich Schwabe, a German astronomer, first noted in 1843 that sunspots burgeon and wane over a roughly 11-year cycle, scientists have carefully watched the Sun’s activity. In the latest lull, the Sun should have reached its calmest, least pockmarked state last fall.

Indeed, last year marked the blankest year of the Sun in the last half-centuryEarth. Then, in the first four months of 2009, the Sun became even more blank, the pace of sunspots slowing more. — 266 days with not a single sunspot visible …

“It’s been as dead as a doornail,” David Hathaway, a solar physicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., said a couple of months ago. …

The idea that solar cycles are related to climate is hard to fit with the actual change in energy output from the sun. From solar maximum to solar minimum, the Sun’s energy output drops a minuscule 0.1 percent.

But the overlap of the Maunder Minimum with the Little Ice Age, when Europe experienced unusually cold weather, suggests that the solar cycle could have more subtle influences on climate. …

Even without cosmic rays, however, a 0.1 percent change in the Sun’s energy output is enough to set off El Niño- and La Niña-like events that can influence weather around the world, according to new research led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.

Climate modeling showed that over the largely cloud-free areas of the Pacific Ocean, the extra heating over several years warms the water, increasing evaporation. That intensifies the tropical storms and trade winds in the eastern Pacific, and the result is cooler-than-normal waters, as in a La Niña event, the scientists reported this month in the Journal of Climate. [Link to source]

Meanwhile, weather wise, World Weather Inc is predicting the cool weather to continue.

Call it a fluke, global cooling, an aberration, an omen or just plain amazing — temperatures in the U.S. Midwest are quite cool right now and World Weather, Inc. believes the cooler than usual bias will prevail in many central and northern U.S. locations through August and into September – with some brief breaks. Oh, how the weather blogs will be buzzing over the next few weeks, but we are in for quite a cool stretch and so far there is nothing that has evolved recently that would suggest a change in the outlook.
Many meteorologists and climatologists are slowly getting on the cool bandwagon as temperatures plummet to record low levels. There will many debates as to how climate is changing and when this summer is done many will look back on it to wonder what happened to global warming and is the world still coming to an end?

Sorry folks. Looks like we might not get a summer.

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