Delta Air Lines Inc. said Tuesday that it was rerouting some transpolar flights between Asia and the U.S. to avoid the impact of the largest solar storm in almost a decade. The Atlanta-based carrier said some flights to Detroit from Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul took a more southerly routing on overnight flights, though a spokesman said planes flew faster to keep schedules intact. Tuesday departures from the U.S. were expected to follow similar routes. A rare solar flare erupted late Sunday night resulting in a solar radiation storm today, according to NASA. It's the strongest such storm since September 2005, according to NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center. Airlines occasionally reroute transpolar flights as a precautionary measure during big solar storms, with radiation levels heightened...
Tag Archives | sun spots
The Telegraph says we may enter a short mini-Ice Age in the next decade due to low solar activity. Consider it Mother Nature giving us a temporary reprieve from global warming so that we have time to set things right:
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Sunspot activity, which follows an 11-year cycle, is due to peak in 2013 after which it will start to wane slightly. But astronomers think the next upswing will be less intensive than normal, or could fail to happen at all. That could affect weather on Earth because low solar activity has been linked to low global temperatures in the past.
Three studies, presented at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s solar physics division, all point towards declining sunspot activity into the next decade.
Between 1645 and 1715 almost no sunspots were observed, a solar period which came to be called the Maunder Minimum. During those decades Europe suffered frequent unusually harsh winters, and the time was later termed the Little Ice Age.
The fearmongers wishing for something, anything, to happen in 2012 have seized on the next peak in the cyclical activity experienced by our sun. AFP reports that an upswing starts next year, but the climax will probably not be until 2013, rather than December 21, 2012:
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The coming year will be an important one for space weather as the Sun pulls out of a trough of low activity and heads into a long-awaited and possibly destructive period of turbulence.
Many people may be surprised to learn that the Sun, rather than burn with faultless consistency, goes through moments of calm and tempest.
But two centuries of observing sunspots — dark, relatively cool marks on the solar face linked to mighty magnetic forces — have revealed that our star follows a roughly 11-year cycle of behaviour.
The latest cycle began in 1996 and for reasons which are unclear has taken longer than expected to end.
Whoa – this is really starting to sound like some of the apocalyptic predictions about the end of the world in 2012! Just announced by NASA:
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On August 1, 2010, an entire hemisphere of the sun erupted. Filaments of magnetism snapped and exploded, shock waves raced across the stellar surface, billion-ton clouds of hot gas billowed into space. Astronomers knew they had witnessed something big.
It was so big, it may have shattered old ideas about solar activity.
“The August 1st event really opened our eyes,” says Karel Schrijver of Lockheed Martin’s Solar and Astrophysics Lab in Palo Alto, CA. “We see that solar storms can be global events, playing out on scales we scarcely imagined before.”
For the past three months, Schrijver has been working with fellow Lockheed-Martin solar physicist Alan Title to understand what happened during the “Great Eruption.” They had plenty of data: The event was recorded in unprecedented detail by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and twin STEREO spacecraft.
So was Lawrence Joseph right when he warned of a potentially catastrophic solar flare in the disinformation film 2012: Science or Superstition? This story from the Daily Mail lends his theory some credence, albeit a year later than he predicted:
A massive solar flare could cause global chaos in 2013, causing blackouts and wrecking satellite communications, a conference heard yesterday.
Nasa has warned that a peak in the sun’s magnetic energy cycle and the number of sun spots or flares around 2013 could generate huge radiation levels.… Read the rest
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February, 2010, was the first month since 2007 with sunspots every day according to Spaceweather.com for February 27. A quick check of February 28 confirms the streak. So far there have been only 2 spot-free days in 2010. By comparison there were 260 spot-free days in 2009, and there have been 772 spot-free days since 2004. What this means is that one of the quietest periods of solar activity in recent history may be coming to an end.
The relevance of this is that sunspot activity has been proposed by many, such as Geerts and Linacre, as a possible driver of Earth’s climate patterns, including global warming and cooling cycles. As with most climate theory, the science has not been settled on the link between sunspots and Earth’s climate.
Most, but not all according to some.