June 13, 2009

Cool Sun

by-Kirtland Griffin

Why the Sun's wacky orbit affects you- Global Warming?

Planets and Sun are relative in size. Distances are not: Solar System. (2009, June 12). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12:10, June 12, 2009, from

The Moon orbits the Earth. The Earth orbits the Sun along with the rest of the planets. The whole shebang moves within our arm of our Galaxy. But what is this about a Solar orbit? Bear with me while I delve into a bit of astrophysics. It will become clear to you what this means to us and our climate and as a result the policy decisions our politicians are about to inflict on us.

Although the Sun has more than 99% of the mass of the Solar system, the large planets are in control of the torque of the system, about 97%. Since the planets rotate at different speeds and in different orbits with varying length years, the total system is chaotic. The large planets, Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus and Saturn have most of that torque. Their relative positions determine the orbit of the Sun. Most people don't even know the Sun has an orbit so you have just jumped up in the knowledge quotient. To understand the way this works you can go to this Solar Predictor here. Just enter a date and see the result.

The orbit is probably best described as 3 rings inside of a circle but the proper term is an epitrochoid. Several scientists have demonstrated this phenomenon in papers including Fairbridge, Mackey, and Svensmark among others, so it is fairly widely accepted. The entire cycle takes 179 years. Each third of the cycle takes about 59 years. This fits into some other theories that are said to have a ~60year cycle.The position of the Sun in this cycle is indicative of the Solar activity. When the Sun is in the outer circle it is furthest from the center of the mass of the solar system, is moving faster by a factor of about 2 times and is most active. This translates into a warmer climate here on Earth as we saw in the 80's and 90's. As the Sun starts to dive into the center of the orbit pattern in a rather smaller, tighter loop. It approaches the center of mass of the Solar system,Solar activity decreases along with it's velocity, and climate on Earth cools. For those of you who have been keeping up with the latest global temperature, you are aware that the Earth is cooling recently. The Sun is just entering one of the tighter loops. What a coincidence! Did these scientists look for a cause of the cooling? No, they didn't. This was predicted back in the early 90's, long before there was any hint of a cooling trend. Actually, it was at the height of the warming frenzy. How inconvenient!

Now, given this piece of the puzzle, wouldn't it be just easier to say, "Man make CO2, we're all gonna die!" There is a law of logic that says that for every problem there is an easy to understand, reasonable, wrong answer. There is also an impossible to understand, implausible, correct answer. I cannot tell you the number of times I have seen analyses of problems in my work where the easy answer is accepted in favor of the more complicated alternative. It is human nature.

So is this the whole answer to what drives our climate? Not by a long shot! As I stated, it is part of the puzzle. Yes, CO2 emitted by man is another part. A very small, insignificant part, but a part nonetheless. I will cover several of the other pieces in the coming weeks.

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