Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Talking About February in April And Solar Cycles In 2011

As some of you may have noticed, there was a time "meme" going around back in February. As always, I look for the reason behind a pattern.  For those of us who experience the four seasons and particularly winter, February is often a time of contemplation and pondering. Unsurprisingly, I noticed it in posts and blogs.

There may be a simple explanation, an instinctual genetic memory that this is a time of hibernation, when the elements are not conducive to spending too much time in the great outdoors, when natural sunlight is less available and the Vitamin D it produces is reduced.  Less natural energy, more time indoors.

Unlike our ancestors, modern civilization expects us to ignore Father Winter, does not allow us to naturally slow down a little, take the time to allow ourselves to engage in creative projects indoors. Use up the stores we have created in the fall. Instead we are asked to continue "hunting and gathering", force our natural rhythms into hyperdrive.

So far 2011 has brought more natural disasters, tragedy and significant world changing events. As a blogging community we responded with pensiveness and humor that has not come out of hibernation yet.

Is Space Weather to blame?

For the last few years the weather has been "unusually active", from floods to tornadoes to snow in regions where it is not normally experienced. In some parts of the northern hemisphere, spring has forgotten to make an appearance this year. Climatologists claim it was the worst spring in 50 years. An active solar cycle, El Nino/La Nina, climate change, oceanic currents are all contributing factors to the recent "unusual" weather patterns witnessed or experienced around the globe. Globally, we have seen an "unusually" active cold and flu season.

The effects of living on a spinning planet hurtling through space held on its yearly course solely by the gravitational pull of our sun have been felt. Ever-changing, a chaotic dynamic equilibrium in a constant state of flux and change. Nature's way, from shifting tectonic plates to space weather.

More contemplation than theory, I wonder how celestial events influence human behavior. There are species and ecosystems on this planet whose rise and fall in population correlate with the 11 year sunspot cycle. Sol is in a very active phase at the moment.  Is there any correlation between that and the recent revolutions we have witnessed in some parts of the world?  Is Sol's activity the causative factor for some of the recent natural disasters? How is everything interconnected?

I'm "unusually" contemplative for the month of April.


  1. Antares- incredibly interesting! I've no doubt there is a correlation, however small, between human behavior and celestial events. We are all-- everything--connected, are we not? I don't know why, but I sense it. I just do.

  2. This was really fascinating and held my interest. I very much like "deep" thoughts such as this. Logic and, I would think, common sense tells us that everything on Earth is related to celestial events. How can there be any doubt? Only our own sense of self-importance poo-poohs the influence of the cosmos. Oh, crap, now I'm going to think deep thoughts when I should be going to bed....
    A personal observation..I did find it strange that some areas of the south got significantly more snow at times than those up north.

  3. Critics of Global Climate Change often dismiss the extent to anthropogenic activity effects the biosphere stating that the cycles of heating, cooling, etc. have been going on for hundreds of thousands of years. Indeed this is the case; we view changes we see during our lifetime and mistakenly view this "blip" period as significant.

    But studying the planet we know there are deserts now where there once were lush forests, etc. It is hypothesized, for example, that the Anasazi who populated the US Southwest were wiped out by climate change. There is evidence of this all over the globe.

    The Earth's magnetic field protects our thin atmosphere from being blown away by the solar wind; many theorize that Mars was once more "lush" because it too had a magnetic field. The planet changed radically when that field subsided.

    The earth's precession, changes in sunspot activity as you point out... these and many more shape the planet. It is often difficult to reconcile these changes based on our very brief presence on the planet.

  4. I like to ponder those interconnections too.
    Yet I am often gob-smacked when I think about anything here resonating out in space (or vice versa) considering what a blip-on-the-radar we are as a planet in the whole scheme of space itself.
    Thanks, as always, for making me think.

  5. Whoa... deep.

    Sometimes, Mrs. C acts a little weird when there's a full moon...

    That's about all I can contribute.

  6. Maybe you need more Vitamin D, darlin'?

    In all seriousness though this was a brilliant post. I'm often struck with how much our current lifestyle/society forces us to go against nature. For example, just Wednesday at the gym I was thinking about how odd it that we have to recreate "fight or flight" scenarios to be healthy. We no longer have to worry about running for our lives, so instead we jog for no other reason that it's what our bodies were designed to do on occasion.

  7. @Jayne, yes, I think there may be a correlation, weather influences us, since we are basically "electrical", I often wonder what we'll still discover about cosmic events influencing us. Fascinated that as far as I know, we're the only species where the length of the lunar cycle is the same as the female cycle. Strange coincidence?

    @Laoch, intriguing subject

    @Al, it's a fascinating field, complex and beyond "understanding". We are a strangely ego- and geocentric species, but at least we are capable of deep thoughts;). There is no common consensus about that, but the change of the oceanic currents makes the most sense to me.

  8. @Robert, yeah didn't some brilliant folks just vote that there is no climate change? Deliberate denial???
    There is a post coming up on climate change, I'm trying to space them out (no pun intended). There are scientist who truly believe that we may be coming out of a mini-ice age. It's difficult to imagine changes occurring over millions of years, but the earth appears to have spent most of its time without polar ice caps. These changes occurred over time-spans of 1000s of years at least.
    Considering that we didn't experience a global catastrophic event (eg. meteorite or super-volcano), the rate at which we're seeing these changes occur since the industrial revolution is unprecedented. Like you said that aspect is certainly anthropogenic.

    @dbs, I know, me too;)I wonder if anyone ever looked at a correlation between war and solar activity. Crazy fringe science? Astronomy can make one feel insignificant and incredibly precious at the same time.

  9. @Vinny, what can I say, every now and then deep just happens...;)
    Dude, I knew it, you're hiding a Lycan aren't ya?

    @Kat, you are probably right, does it come with a beach?
    Thanks. Exactly right! We have to postpone natural reactions till we get to the gym, or leave it for the weekend or "catch up" on sleep. Seems moronic.

  10. I'm here!
    I loved reading this (even the second time round ;)

    Did you know we got an earthquake in North Queensland? and then two hours later New Zealand got another after shock..?!

    The pacific plate is definatly angry at the moment.

    Given that our seasons are reversed down here, us "Southeners" pull into our funk during the months of june/july/august. July in particular.

  11. Hooray:)

    When, just recently? Taking a news break, so I know nothing about what's going on anywhere.

    Great metaphor, you move in one direction, then get shoved into something else, then have to settle in your new environment.

    You still get quite a bit of sun though, even in the winter?

  12. Yes it happened about a week and a half ago. It was up in north queensland, and they felt it down in my home town to.

    Depends on where you live. Coastal, not so chilly. But here we are closer to the mountain range, inland. Gets quite cold here. It snows but only down in the soouthern states.

  13. Sorry I'm late to the party as usual.

    The weather here in England is unseasonably good at the moment. Probably because I am about to travel to Canada where snow seems to be the norm. :-)

    I think that mankind has lost many skills it once had and one of those has surely got to be the "connectedness" we once had to nature and the changing seasons. But I suspect that you're right in that there is some primeval sense that we still have, an instinct that is broadcasting loud and clear. If only we were prepared to listen and to understand what we're hearing.

    Great post as always Ant. Thanks again for making me think.

  14. @Sprite, heard about New Zealand, but they failed to mention Australia, mild?

    @Jono, yes, it was unseasonably snowy too in the UK.

    Agreed, maybe if we didn't live in such climate controlled homes, we'd have a more natural reaction. We did disconnect, didn't we?
    As to the sun, I wonder what effects, if any, Solar neutrinos have on us.

    Thanks Jono and for sharing amazing geekery on yours.

  15. Not so bad, nothing damaged, about 5.5 but out to sea. No Tsunami.

  16. The space always moves in time, sometimes more quickly or more slowly after, as long as you have. A greeting.

  17. I go into hibernation in winter and now you have proven what I have said all along... winter = more wine. (That is what I read between the lines)

  18. love this post - am tweeting it. expect crazy Dubai guests...

  19. Very thought-provoking. Being a watered down hippie type (tie-dye and tweed), I have always believed that we are connected to the goings-on in the cosmos and our problems stem from thinking we're above that sort of malarkey. Malarkey is vastly underrated anymore in our high-tech speed-of-light lives. Vitamin D and a healthy dose of malarkey go a long way to balance our systems--cosmically and internally.

  20. @Sprite, did you feel it?

    @Leovi, profound and true. Gracias.

    @Nubian, winter=more whining? Whatever gets one through ;)

    @Sarah Walton, thank you for the shout out, I'm on twitter, without being on twitter:)
    Define "crazy".

    Welcome Me, I try not to talk to myself in public. Than you, Me.

    @Lord Wellbourne, until science discovers what is yet to be discovered, malarkey and Vitamin D can go a long way. We do take ourselves too seriously.

  21. I'll just say yes to all you've written. How can we not be influenced by atmospheric/energetic forces powerful enough to shift the planet on its axis. And yes, our sense of time is usually limited to man's existence, whereas Earth has been here (perhaps just like here, now) before and surely will be again - oceans becoming mountain tops, forests turned to deserts. There is change on the wind; we just have no idea where it will take us. Count me as another vote for malarkey (and an aging hippie at heart.)

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Marylinn, it is difficult to comprehend *that* length of time, when our own are so short. Millennia, barely, but millions of years? I know what you mean, I sense it too. Until science makes that next great discovery; malarkey and paint supplies should keep us occupied;)


I get paid in com(pli)ments.
Comment, Discuss or Foruminate.
Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.