Alaska's Sen. Ted Stevens: It's sunspots! Let's get out the oil drills

At a meeting of the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Alaska's Senator Ted Stevens claimed that the unprecedented decline in Arctic sea ice melting is probably due to sunspots.

Of course, if a major plank in your political platform is the opening up of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration, you probably would be inclined to grasp at anything to discredit the human-induced theory of global warming as well.

Senator John Kerry jumped all over Stevens junk science stating that:

There were people who argued against Christopher Columbus, who said that the world is flat despite the weight of scientific evidence. The fact is that the sunspot theory has been thoroughly disproved…”

And the response Stevens provides after getting ripped for his discredited sunspot claims?

Global cooling in the 1970's.


The hearing is still underway, but here's where you can find the archived webcast later today.


I’m a ham radio operator and we pay very close attention to solar activity. It can mean the difference between a very active ham radio band or one that is totally devoid of radio communications activity. So when I checked with WWV, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology broadcast of time coordinates and solar activity, I discovered that there were no sun spots to be had which has been pretty consistent over the past couple of months with a Solar A index of 0 (the lowest activity) and a K index of 3 (also very low and indicative of no solar activity. There have been weeks without any sunspots with a few days of anywhere from 5 to 15 sunspots (not many in other words).

If sunspots are the cause of glacier melt then you would expect to see many of them on the solar disc. Unfortunately this has not been the case as we are, in what we hams call the solar minimum between the 11 year period of cycle 24 and 25. Also you may want to check out the link below from NASA’s website about their prediction that cycle 25 will be the weakest in centuries.

We are actually between sunspot cycle 23 and 24. My statement earlier that we were between cycle 24 and 25 was incorrect. I regret the mistake.

That’s really interesting, whether 23-24 or 24-25! I recall knowing at some point about the link between solar cycles and ham radio, but forgot. There was a movie called Frequency, improbable, but fun …

that there are 2 predictions about cycle 25. I think NOAA? is predicting a slightly higher amount of activity and apparently sunspots do create additional warming but it’s barely measurable. I think something in the order of .1% above minimum levels. Much weaker than the effect from increased CO2 levels.
It was also stated that the current solar minimum has been usually long.