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Sunspots Do Really Affect Weather Patterns, Say Scientists
Posted By admin On August 28, 2009 @ 9:21 am In Sci Tech | Comments Disabled
Friday, August 28, 2009
A new study  in the journal Science by a team of international of researchers led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research have found that the sunspot cycle has a big effect on the earth’s weather. The puzzle has been how fluctuations in the sun’s energy of about 0.1 percent over the course of the 11-year sunspot cycle could affect the weather? The press release describing the new study explains :
The team first confirmed a theory that the slight increase in solar energy during the peak production of sunspots is absorbed by stratospheric ozone. The energy warms the air in the stratosphere over the tropics, where sunlight is most intense, while also stimulating the production of additional ozone there that absorbs even more solar energy. Since the stratosphere warms unevenly, with the most pronounced warming occurring at lower latitudes, stratospheric winds are altered and, through a chain of interconnected processes, end up strengthening tropical precipitation.
At the same time, the increased sunlight at solar maximum causes a slight warming of ocean surface waters across the subtropical Pacific, where Sun-blocking clouds are normally scarce. That small amount of extra heat leads to more evaporation, producing additional water vapor. In turn, the moisture is carried by trade winds to the normally rainy areas of the western tropical Pacific, fueling heavier rains and reinforcing the effects of the stratospheric mechanism.
The top-down influence of the stratosphere and the bottom-up influence of the ocean work together to intensify this loop and strengthen the trade winds. As more sunshine hits drier areas, these changes reinforce each other, leading to less clouds in the subtropics, allowing even more sunlight to reach the surface, and producing a positive feedback loop that further magnifies the climate response.
These stratospheric and ocean responses during solar maximum keep the equatorial eastern Pacific even cooler and drier than usual, producing conditions similar to a La Nina event. However, the cooling of about 1-2 degrees Fahrenheit is focused farther east than in a typical La Nina, is only about half as strong, and is associated with different wind patterns in the stratosphere.
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URLs in this post:
 Reason: http://reason.com/blog/show/135747.html
 new study: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/325/5944/1114
 explains: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090827141349.htm
 Destructive weather patterns and HAARP – Scientists investigate a possible connection: http://www.prisonplanet.com/destructive-weather-patterns-and-haarp-scientists-investigate-a-possible-connection.html
 Weather Channel Meteorologist Flips Out About Hurricane Sandy: http://www.prisonplanet.com/weather-channel-meteorologist-flips-out-about-hurricane-sandy.html
 Sandy could bring ‘catastrophe,’ affect 60 million: http://www.prisonplanet.com/sandy-could-bring-catastrophe-affect-60-million.html
 Scientists disagree over lack of sunspots: http://www.prisonplanet.com/scientists-disagree-over-lack-of-sunspots.html
 22 Signs That Global Weather Patterns Are Going Absolutely Crazy: http://www.prisonplanet.com/22-signs-that-global-weather-patterns-are-going-absolutely-crazy.html
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