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Ocean Currents Could Lead to Superstorm

There are more sunspots now than there have been in the last 1,000 years, and this could be a major cause of global warming. Also, vast areas of cold water have suddenly appeared in the North Pacific and North Atlantic, meaning we could be on our way to a Superstorm.

Oceanographers are racing to study this unexpected event. It is possible that this is happening because the great oscillation that moves ocean water from north to south is weakening and getting smaller. Unknowncountry.com's Quickwatch has been reporting on the decline of the Gulf Stream for over a year. This new abnormality suggests that the situation is getting worse much more quickly than anticipated. If this condition persists, it will result in an early autumn in the northern hemisphere, which will be accompanied by violent weather.

But would it trigger a really gigantic storm, such as that portrayed in Superstorm and the Day After Tomorrow? Not unless tropical air penetrates deep into the arctic in August. Should air temperatures at our Quickwatch high arctic monitoring points soar to above 85 degrees Fahrenheit in August-September, and the conditions now present in the northern oceans persist, then extreme weather could result.

David Whitehouse writes in bbcnews.com that Swiss researcher Sami Solanki used ice cores from Greenland to compare today's sunspot activity with that of the past. Over the last century, as the Earth?s climate became warmer, the number of sunspots increased. This trend is being made worse by greenhouse gases, but they aren't the only cause of global warming.

Sunspots have been monitored since 1610, shortly after the invention of the telescope. The Sun usually has an 11-year cycle of activity, but this isn't always regular. Between about 1645 and 1715, there were fewer sunspots than usual on the Sun's surface. At that time, the Earth experienced a long period of cold weather known as the "Little Ice Age."

Looking at sunspot activity during the past 1,150 years, Solanki has found that the Sun has never been as active as it has been during the past 60 years. However, during the past 20 years, the number of sunspots has remained about the same, yet the average temperature of the Earth has continued to increase. This could be due to burning fossil fuels.

Since we can't control sunspots, we'll always be victims of climate changes. The best we can do is try to learn more so we can predict these changes and prepare for them. The good news is that they're variable, meaning that the Earth will cool down again in the future?if we learn how to control greenhouse gases.

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