February 9, 2008


Solar Activity Diminishes; Researchers Predict Another Ice Age (Michael Asher, February 9, 2008, )

Dr. Kenneth Tapping is worried about the sun. Solar activity comes in regular cycles, but the latest one is refusing to start. Sunspots have all but vanished, and activity is suspiciously quiet. The last time this happened was 400 years ago -- and it signaled a solar event known as a "Maunder Minimum," along with the start of what we now call the "Little Ice Age."

...the Suburban is idling even as we speak.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 9, 2008 5:10 PM

The whole premise of global warming is that AlGore believes that his hot air has much more of a global impact than the energy from the sun. It's an ego trip, and not just for him.

P.S. - has anyone ever seen a computation that shows the amount of energy emitted by the sun (or even just the miniscule portion of which strikes the earth) in one day, compared to all the energy released in the burning of fossil fuels since 1880? I'll bet there is a difference by at least 10 orders of magnitude.

Posted by: ratbert at February 10, 2008 12:07 AM

Wikipedia says the total insolation of the Earth is about 1400 W/m^2; over the whole cross-section of the Earth's disc about 1.7x10^17 W.

Worldwide energy use statistics aren't available for 1880-date. US energy use from 1900-2000 is roughly 1.7x10^18 W-hr, or about 10 hours of sunlight.

I'd guess that 1880-2008 worldwide energy use would be likely be a couple days of insolation.

Posted by: Gideon at February 10, 2008 6:38 AM

Gideon -

I had forgotten about the 'insolation' figure (although as I remember from Physics 203, I think it's closer to 1100 W/m^2).

Remember, that 1100 W is every second, so the daily amount earth receives would be about 1.15x10^22 W (using a disc area of 1.21x10^14 m^2). So it is about 6800 times more energy striking the earth every day than what man has 'burned' (assuming Wiki is correct). Less difference than I would have thought.

Posted by: ratbert at February 10, 2008 9:51 PM