Saturday, April 28, 2012

Woven on a Cosmic Loom. . .

A few minutes ago, I finished watching this utterly fascinating video about a theory on how the earth’s weather is effected by the activity of the sun, and by the cosmic rays from our Milky Way galaxy. The video is almost 53 minutes long, but it is very well worth watching.  It outlines a most beautiful and elegant theory of a Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark.  




He shows a very strong correlation in the fossil record between periods of quiet sun/high cosmic ray bombardment of the earth and cooler weather and periods of active sun/low cosmic rays hitting the earth and warm climate.  As the earth makes one rotation around the Milky Way galaxy every 250 million years, we travel in and out of the spiral arms of the galaxy.  Inside the arms, we are in an areas of much greater density of stars.  This greater density of stars around us, increases the intensity of cosmic ray bombardment hitting the earth, resulting in a cooler climate.  Between the arms, there are fewer stars, and therefore fewer cosmic rays, resulting in a warmer climate.  There is a strong correlation between the two in the records of the earth.

One point Dr. Svensmark makes, is that for much of earth’s history, the earth has had no polar ice caps.  Fossils of palm trees are found in the antarctic. For all of recorded human history, we have been in a cold phase of climate.  In the earth’s history, there has been alternating periods of warm and cold.  In our rotation around the galaxy, we are presently entering a minor arm of the galaxy. . . an area of increased density of star population, and are therefore in an area of increased cosmic rays and consequently we are entering in a cold phase. . . a time of earth’s history with polar ice caps.

When our sun is active, it has a stronger magnetic field, which therefore appears to shield and deflect. . . it guards and prevents more cosmic rays from reaching the entire solar system.  There appears to be very strong evidence that cosmic rays themselves, are the seeds which initiate cloud formation.  It is an elegant and most beautiful theory. . . I find it beautiful beyond my ability to convey the beauty of it.

As an aside, the weather record of the past 1000 years show clear connectedness between solar activity and the temperature of the earth.  From 1645-1715 there were only 50 sunspots recorded in 70 years. . . less than 1 sunspot a year. As a comparison today (4-28-2012) alone, there are at least 5 sunspots visible on the face of the sun, more than would have been seen in 5 years of that period. If you would like to search for more information, this period is known as the Maunder Minimum.  A more typical sunspot count from a normally active sun would have been 40,000-50,000 sunspots in that same span.  This period of quiet sun, also corresponded to a time known as a little ice age, a time of cool summers, and extremely cold winters.  

A 1000 years ago, was the time known as the medieval warm period, when the earth was quite significantly much warmer than today.  The Vikings explored “Greenland”. . . which is now not green at all, but covered with a massive sheet of ice, and largely white. . . We don’t know as much about the solar activity at that time, but it is quite possible that this was a time of increased solar activity.

As another aside. . . it looks very much like our sun is entering a new time of quiet.  A recently discovered deep solar conveyor, appears to be in the process of shutting down.  Sunspots are an end result of this solar conveyor. . . The solar cycle we are presently in, is far far quieter than the preceding solar cycles and average temperature of the earth is clearly declining. . . It will be very interesting to see what the future brings in the way of solar activity. . .

There is so much that we do not know about intricacies and interconnectedness of the universe we live in. . . stars violently explode hundreds of light years away. . . and in a most achingly wondrous way, they provide the very seeds required for a misty cloudy day. . . So blame your washed out picnic, or rained out baseball game not merely on your local weatherman. . . but upon the very stars above us. . .In very real weaving and tapestry of effect, the cosmic weather of our galactic neighbrhood, drives the local weather of our cities and local neighborhoods. . .Our local weather appears very much to be woven on a cosmic loom. . .

I thank you my God, for the most beautiful wonders of Your creation. . .
The closer we look at the universe around us. . . the more in awe of You we become. . .

If you are able, I highly encourage you to watch this video.

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