Saturday, July 11, 2015

An explanation for solar cycle variability?

An explanation for solar cycle variability?  Maybe.  If these scientists are right, we've got a mini-Ice Age coming in just 15 years.  If I'm reading this article correctly, these scientists are claiming to have discovered that the sun's magnetic dynamo is driven by two roughly 11 year long cycles – but that these cycles have a small difference in frequency.  Because of this small frequency difference, periodically the cycles will be out-of-phase, and in-phase.  In the 2030s, they say, they will be 180° out of phase, and the sun's activity will fall to a low we haven't seen since the Maunder minimum in the mid-1600s.

I have no idea whether these scientists are onto something here.  In particular, I don't know whether there's any physical mechanism that would explain having two separate magnetic dynamo effects with two very close frequencies.  However, one thing I am sure of: the result of having two such mechanisms with very close frequencies really would be as described here.  That's a mechanism familiar to any electrical engineer, and that mechanism has a name: heterodyning.  That mechanism is used in just about every tunable radio receiver, and in many other devices (including audio) as well.  So if these scientists are right about the two underlying mechanisms, I have no doubt at all that the rest of their claim is correct.

It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.  I'm very curious, in particular, how the climate alarmists will react to this – for it suggests a major benefit is to be had by deliberately increasing greenhouse gases...

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