Re: The warming trend & extinction events & ex-astra expl.

p3voices (
Fri, 05 Jul 1996 21:07:55 -0400

Timo Niroma:

That's a lot of interesting data and analysis you have compiled on
temperature changes and sunspot counts. Maybe you are on to something
here, but please take caution - over time the methodologies of acquiring
this data have changed. Temperature records are somewhat suspect because
thermometer calibrations and construction have changed somewhat and the
microclimates at the temperature acquistion sites have changed over time
(construction of cities and concrete buildings has altered the daily
temp mins and maximums). Methodologies of counting sunspots, esp.
historical are subjective, and depend upon the quality of the telescope,
number of observations, locations of observer (due to local weather
variations affecting ability to observe), the expertise of the observer,
and the defintion of what size actually constitutes a recordable spot.
But let's assume you are right here that sunspot variations drive
climatic change in historical times. And, let's combine this with your
earlier thread of Pleistocene extinction events and end of the ice age.
In the discussion about extinction events, you <Timo Naruma> hypothesized
that a moderate-sized cometary(or meteoric) collision caused rapid
climactic change, the end of the ice age, and the extinction of several
large mammals in N.America.
Now to engage in <wild> speculation, and assuming your analysis is
on target, perhaps a sudden and quite large increase in sunspot count
about 11600 years ago could have ended the ice age, by increasing the
solar output. While we like to believe the sun is a constant energy
source, we have no good observational data to proove this is true over
10+ kyear timeframes. A read of astronomy journals will show that we
occasionally do observe stars becoming suddenly, and unexpectedly,
variable in their output (even some stars similar in type to ours).
Simply trying to show its possible.....
Would this not be just as good an explanation for the Pleistocene
extinction events and end of the ice age (instead of a meteor)?

Now to move to my point:
Timo, it seems you are suggesting that meteors caused one climactic
change (end of most recent ice age) and that sunspots cause another
(recent history)? I'd suggest that you can't have it both ways, and that
maybe these extra-terrestrial explanations are becoming just too
convenient. Please pick just one..?....

As always, these discussions can be fun,