Sunspots only half the number expected.
The sun should be at the climax of its usual 11-year cycle of activity, but solar physicists are puzzled by its mellow solar maximum, writes Robert Lee Hotz in the Wall Street Journal.
This peak is “a total punk,” said Jonathan Cirtain, who works at NASA as project scientist for the Japanese satellite Hinode, which maps solar magnetic fields.
“I would say it is the weakest in 200 years,” said David Hathaway, head of the solar physics group at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
“There is no scientist alive who has seen a solar cycle as weak as this one,” said Andrés Munoz-Jaramillo, who studies the solar-magnetic cycle at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass.
See entire article, which includes the obligatory nod to global warming.
“It may give us a brief respite from global warming,” said Dr. Hathaway. “But it is not going to stop it.”
Thanks to Ryan Hendrix, Gordon and John Zielinski for this link
“Scientists are puzzled by the low sunspot numbers?” says John. “Shocking! I can only imagine when they are stepping all over themselves in the next couple of years to explain the sudden cooling.”