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Space Science

Solar Cycle 24 Has Started 258

Posted by Soulskill
from the tell-me-where-the-flare-is dept.
radioweather writes "Solar physicists have been waiting for the appearance of a reversed-polarity sunspot to signal the start of the next solar cycle. As of Friday, that wait is over. A magnetically reversed, high-latitude sunspot emerged on the surface of the sun. Just a few months ago, an 'All Quiet Alert' had been issued for the sun. This reversed-polarity sunspot marks the beginning of the sun's return back to Solar Maximum. Solar Cycle 24 has been the subject of much speculation due to competing forecasts on whether it will be a highly active or a quiet low cycle. If it is a low cycle, it may very well be a test of validity for some CO2 based global warming theories. Only time will tell."
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Solar Cycle 24 Has Started

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  • Impossible (Score:4, Funny)

    by QuickFox (311231) on Sunday January 06, 2008 @09:24AM (#21931910)
    Reversed polarity? These scientists have seen too much Star Trek.
  • by eno2001 (527078) on Sunday January 06, 2008 @09:31AM (#21931960) Homepage Journal
    Everyone knows that the last time there was some kind of reversal of polls on the Earth, the entire world lost electrical power for thousands of years and the whole planet was shattered into pieces!! We're lucky that gravity pulled it all together again and that electricity was discovered by Thomas Jefferson a few hundred years later. I think this is a sign of the creator's anger because we're all talking about man having come from monkeys instead of the real truth of Intelligent Design. It's a warning. If we don't get evolution theories out of the schools and replaced with science fact soon, he'll make more reversed spots on the sun and it will shatter into pieces. I don't think we'll survive that this time.
  • by altoz (653655) on Sunday January 06, 2008 @09:32AM (#21931972)
    That's why they started using the new term "climate change". If it gets cooler, they'll say "see, the climate is changing". They'll come up with some weather model that predicts a short-term cooldown but a long term warming. Either that or they'll use a different set of data to say that the warming is happening and that cooling is an illusion.

    Just watch, when billions are at stake, dis-crediting will prove incredibly difficult.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by TheMeuge (645043)
      Let me guess.

      You're part of the "9-11 Truth" committee... you think HIV doesn't cause AIDS... you think MMR vaccine causes autism... and your presidential candidate of choice is Ron Paul.
    • by Jugalator (259273)

      Just watch, when billions are at stake, dis-crediting will prove incredibly difficult.
      You're speaking as if you know some ultimate truth here?
    • by Mathiasdm (803983) on Sunday January 06, 2008 @09:52AM (#21932118) Homepage
      Actually, 'climate change' is preferred instead of 'global warming' since it's very much possible that, while the average worldwide temperature is expected to increase, the temperature could decrease in some locations (Example: Gulf stream slowing down causing Europe to become colder)
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by tgatliff (311583)
        If it is one thing we have learned from global warming is that sometimes it can lead to brief periods of global cooling - A Quote from a Global Warming Documentary

        Lets just be honest shall we in saying that even after all the huge amount of data we have collected we know very little about what is going to happen as we move forward... Our arrogance in actually thinking we have control over what is going on I find quite interesting. Meaning, to me it is kind of like the 21st century version of the pope tryi
      • by tsa (15680)
        Well, my part of Europe (Netherlands) is definitely not growing colder. 12 years ago I moved from the middle of the country to the east part (Enschede, near Gronau). Back then winters with temperatures below -15 were not rare. We also used to have BIG thunderstorms with a LOT of rain falling in a short time. The sky would turn green before the rain, which was a sight to see. Now we have more rain but spread out over a lot of small showers. When there's snow (a normal occurrence in the years before the 1990s
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      No, scientists use the term "global climate change" because it more accurately describes what may happen in the future than "global warming." Yes, on average the surface of the earth has been getting warmer globally [nasa.gov], but it does not mean the entire world will just experience slightly warmer summers and winters. Just a few degrees centigrade has the ability to change ocean currents, wind patterns, and other natural events that regulate our climate.
    • Just watch, when billions are at stake, dis-crediting will prove incredibly difficult.
      Yes, how can Big Oil possibly compete against all those super-rich scientists?
      • I used to volunteer with Earth First, and let me tell you how it works. We scare the piss out of everyone, get them to donate billions of dollars, and spend all the money on hookers and blow. Pretty much standard operating procedure in liberal activist circles, don't you know.

        I mean, it's not like any of us were dirt poor, living out of our cars, and dumpster diving for food. Nope, we were all trust fund babies with millions in the bank who just wanted to piss off our rich industrialist parents. This whole
      • by mwlewis (794711)

        Yes, how can Big Oil possibly compete against all those super-rich scientists?

        why would they compete against scientists? There are plenty of scientists on both sides of the debate. It's the politicians and bureaucrats who want to direct the billions who they'd be fighting against. I'm not arguing that oil lobbyists don't have more influence than is healthy, but so do those working against the oil companies.

        Bad for the goose, bad for the gander.

    • More than likely they'll claim that the planet is cooling down because of their ingenious carbon trading scheme.
  • If it is a low cycle, it may very well be a test of validity for some CO2 based AGW theories.

    There are no more theories to test about carbon dioxide and its effects on global warming, are there? Al Gore and my local talk radio station both say 'the debate is over' and Al got the nobel prize for saying that, plus he invented the internet.
    • by deniable (76198)
      It's a sexy science with lots of money so there are lots of theories to be tested. We've still got plenty of junk science to fund. We still need a dozen studies on how oil and coal are good for us plus studies to show that CO2 is good for plants.
      • by sumdumass (711423)
        DO you have an issue with coal and oil? I mean a study saying that aren't bad doesn't mean they are good. It sounds more to me like your on the bandwagon simply to satisfy your desires concerning Coal and oil. Something that seems equally wrong and out of context.
  • by 3seas (184403) on Sunday January 06, 2008 @10:03AM (#21932178) Journal
    ... doesn't someone make a cream for that?
  • any ham radio gurus? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FudRucker (866063) on Sunday January 06, 2008 @10:08AM (#21932204)
    what does this mean for radio propagation for the next year or few years? good or bad propagation? lots of RFI?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Enleth (947766)
      That depends. Generally speaking, high solar activity is good because the ionosphere is ionised enough and deflects the radio waves better (that's why there's poor propagation in winter - less solar radiation reaches the more distant hemisphere due to longer nights and lower angle). However, too high activity causes interferences and distrupts communication. So it's the best when the Sun is moderately active.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 06, 2008 @11:02AM (#21932558)
      More solar activity means better propogation at higher frequencies. For Example, 21 MHz, 28, MHz, and 50 MHz bands open up for long distance HF communication. But during periods of low sunspot activity these bands may only be usable for local communications.
  • ...because 95% of slashdot-reading geeks have no connection to the Lunar cycle. :)

  • Solar Cycle 24 has been the subject of much speculation due to competing forecasts on whether it will be a highly active or a quiet low cycle. If it is a low cycle, it may very well be a test of validity for some CO2 based global warming theories.
    ...but far more importantly, how long it will take until my shortwave reception improves.
  • How do they know this is cycle number 24 ? The sun has been going for over 4.5 billion years, so it must have had millions of cycles...
  • Solar Irradiance verses Sunspots [wikipedia.org]..

    Ouch.. in a couple of years the Sun is going to add another 0.3 of Watts/m^2 to the Earth's energy imbalance problem!

    With any luck the AGW deniers will finally get a clue !

  • by MtViewGuy (197597) on Sunday January 06, 2008 @11:06PM (#21938264)
    What worries me is that there are too many people out there who want to use Solar Cycle 24 to tie in with the end of the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012. :-/ And there's good reason for this: the period right after the potential next peak of Solar Cycle 24--when we get the most solar flares and coronal mass ejections--could potentially be right around the December 21, 2012 time period.

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