The Solar Max Ain't So Max

While it seems to many here in the US that the funding and debt limit crises are the most important issues of the day, they aren't. Neither will cause problems with upcoming changes in Earth's climate. Instead we should be paying attention to the sun's activity, or rather its lack of activity.

The latest data is not encouraging for Solar Cycle 24 as the SSN [Sun Spot Numbers]...have taken a pretty big hit. In fact, all the solar metrics have taken a hit at a time near the peak when their should be many more sunspots and indications of an active solar dynamo.

A quieter sun means a cooler climate, or at least it has in the past. This solar cycle has been quite weak, it started about 2 years late, and it appears there was an early peak in the sunspot numbers – the so-called Solar Max. The question many are asking is whether this could be the onset of another lengthy 'minimum', meaning there will be decades of low solar activity. The previous periods experiencing lengthy minimums also experienced decades of colder temperatures, the Little Ice Ages that so devastated Europe after the Medieval Warm Period ended.

Should this come to pass it will be interesting to see how the AGW folks are going to explain it away...unless they find some way to blame it on Global Warming.