Good times, ow, solar science

Went dancing last night to the melodious strains of the Blue Meenies, a fabulous cover band of these parts, and they had Winter Ale on tap at the John B! Home by 12:30 thanks to one of my fellow revellers. Daughter Katie jammed, mentioning something about self-care. We had a small and lively crew there and it was lovely to see Mike and Heather.

This morning, of course, the piper has arrived with his hand out; I am interesting varieties of sore. Daughter Katie is showing up this afternoon, possibly maybe, for a meal and a visit, and then I’m off to the Luddite’s for dinner. I really wish I could crosspost his last email to me – it is a masterpiece of British humour. Reference to this video was made. NOTE: it is nothing you won’t see on TV these days, but that doesn’t mean you want your boss walking up behind you while you are thoughtfully educating yourself with its four and a half minutes of hardhitting content.

So after all this gimping about with climate change, and everything supposedly getting warmer, some bunch of solar science geeks are saying we’re heading into solar minimum and it’s going to get ass freezing cold around here. Well, why not!? It’s a planet, it’s a complex system, and I wish I hadn’t given away my ski pants. Here’s the consensus view of the timing of the event.

Here’s the International MSM take on the science.

Not so fast, said RealClimate in 2005.

Please note there’s a big difference between the solar minimum of the 11 year (actually 9 – 14 year) solar sunspot cycle and a Maunder Minimum, when there are virtually no sunspots for many decades. The last Maunder Minimum put Europe in the fridge for about 40 years. Or so some people believe…. the deep freeze can also be attributed to the stalling of the thermohaline current, which might or might not have something to do with the sun.  I am seeing the ‘problem with climate change’ as not being so much a problem with the planet as a problem with interpreting what’s going on around us.
The scientific problem (how do prove that we know what is happening by developing successful predictive models) is  aggravated by bumps in the research road.  Human beings a) live for about 80 years and we’re trying to see patterns that are godlike in duration and grandeur, b) see patterns where none may be, c) fail to see patterns because they’re too close to a problem and d) hold opinions and field arguments for reasons which may line up with their breeding rights and status rather than the facts in the case.

So is the earth getting warmer?  Well, yeah. Ice doesn’t melt without getting warmer, and 2007 was a f*cking catastrophe for glaciers and polar ice.  But in ten years of bad weather we could get every cubic inch of that ice back and then some; this winter was an interesting study for me in how very minor changes in weather patterns and temperatures can make immense differences in snowfall.  East Van got rain!  I got 1 foot of snow – twice!  (And had to clean it off the f*cking CAN car, both times, but I’m from Ontario and I am used to cleaning a foot of wet snow off cars.)

The debate goes on, but I have one plea for the boffins – please continue to work on food crop seeds which can deal with temperature and moisture extremes, because I suspect that will do more good for humanity than arguing about what kinds of spots the sun finds fashionable this year.

I am toasting almonds for biscotti.

The landpeer will be showing the apartment starting Monday, so I gotta tidy up.

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Born when atmospheric carbon was 316 PPM. Settled on MST country since 1997. Parent, grandparent.

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