Our Sleepy Sun?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A yacht sails near the shore as the sun sets ending a day in St John's, 07 April 2007. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty)

Just a few weeks after the polar vortex another round of frigid weather is sweeping across the nation from Denver to Atlanta.

While most meteorologists focus on weather patterns, we also know that the Sun's behavior plays a role in regulating winter temperatures through what's known as the solar cycle. And what's notable about this solar cycle is how quiet it is.

The word "sleepy" is being used about the Sun right now—the likes of which has not been seen for about 100 years. David Hathaway is Solar Astronomer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. He explains the latest solar cycle and what impacts it could have on climate change.


David Hathaway

Hosted by:

Todd Zwillich


T.J. Raphael

Comments [1]

Jessen from Portland, OR

It seems remarkable that the sun has been pretty quiet for awhile now, 'and' ocean-atmosphere heat exchange has been in a cool phase, in which more heat is retained at-depth. Yet globally, 'surface' temperatures remain anomalously high in the longer term context:
This is despite some regional cold snaps (related to heat 'distribution', not just Earth's energy balance).

Jan. 21 2014 02:18 PM

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