Cosmic rays, global warming, bubbles and droughts – April 14, 2010

            FYI – I was made aware of the attached article warning of global food shortages after I sent my latest doom and gloom missive. It was already overlong as it is. Good news: (yes, there still is such a thing) we, in North America won’t starve. Bad news, a lot of other people on earth however, are at risk.  

             We human beans (as Chief Dan George called us) have a propensity to connect wildly disparate things i.e. see the big picture. Here are a couple of dots that might connect although I admit this is purely conjectural.

             A new solar cycle began late in 2007. Solar cycles typically run 9 to 14 years and average about 11 years. Sun spots are regions of intense magnetic activity on the sun’s surface with a reduced temperature causing dark spots that can be seen from earth without a telescope. Below is a list of sunspots by year going back to 1700.

             Since the beginning of this solar cycle, there were only two brief sunspots since the beginning of last year. Minimal sunspot activity means colder than normal weather. We are experiencing an unusual small number of sunspots. Maximum is 190 in 1957. Don Coxe, one of the Global Portfolio Strategists I follow, was reporting this since last summer. It turned out to be an accurate forecast.

             On another matter, about 10 years ago, Danish scientists reported that varying amounts of cosmic rays affect global warming (something Al Gore doesn’t want to hear about.) As our solar system revolves around the galaxy we receive varying amounts of cosmic rays (high speed atomic particles) from exploding stars at the galactic core. As these cosmic rays penetrate our atmosphere, they produce ions and these free electrons become building blocks for cloud condensation nuclei on which water vapor condenses to make clouds. Long story short, high cosmic ray activity produces more clouds which reflect solar heat thereby decreasing global temperatures. Conversely, low cosmic activity produces fewer clouds and increased temperature.

             Here’s where it gets conjectural. Perhaps these same cosmic rays affect sun spot activity on the sun. In other words cosmic rays are the cause and sunspots and weather are the effect.

             Here’s where it gets really conjectural. Since our brains operate on tiny electrical impulses, perhaps varying amounts of cosmic rays affect the way we think causing what Alan Greenspan called “irrational exuberance” which leads us to create market bubbles. It is an established fact that bursting bubbles cause recessions and depressions (Q: how do you prevent a depression? A: prevent a bubble.) Think this is far fetched? Consider these bubbles which peaked at the beginning of almost every century (I couldn’t find anything for the 1600’s or the 1800’s.) Now look at the sunspot chart below and you’ll see extremely low sunspots at the beginning of every century.

-       Dutch Tulip Bubble 1593 to 1634 (the middle of which is 1613)

-       South Sea Bubble  1711

-       Florida Real Estate Bubble 1920

-       our recent bubbles  2007 to 2009 

           Now take this one step further (really, really conjectural) and tie it in to droughts i.e. the Dirty Thirties and today. I haven’t had time to research droughts beyond this but it might make for an interesting thesis for someone who has the time.

           So, you heard it here first. I may be wrong in blaming governments for all our problems. They may be caused by cosmic rays. Break out the tin foil hats! 

Gerold

Year   # Sunspots 

1700   5

1701  11

1702  16

1703  23

1704  36

1705  58

1706  29

1707  20

1708  10

1709   8

1710   3

1711   0

1712   0

1713   2

1714  11

1715  27

1716  47

1717  63

1718  60

1719  39

1720  28

1721  26

1722  22

1723  11

1724  21

1725  40

1726  78

1727 122

1728 103

1729  73

1730  47

1731  35

1732  11

1733   5

1734  16

1735  34

1736  70

1737  81

1738 111

1739 101

1740  73

1741  40

1742  20

1743  16

1744   5

1745  11

1746  22

1747  40

1748  60

1749  80.9

1750  83.4

1751  47.7

1752  47.8

1753  30.7

1754  12.2

1755   9.6

1756  10.2

1757  32.4

1758  47.6

1759  54.0

1760  62.9

1761  85.9

1762  61.2

1763  45.1

1764  36.4

1765  20.9

1766  11.4

1767  37.8

1768  69.8

1769 106.1

1770 100.8

1771  81.6

1772  66.5

1773  34.8

1774  30.6

1775   7.0

1776  19.8

1777  92.5

1778 154.4

1779 125.9

1780  84.8

1781  68.1

1782  38.5

1783  22.8

1784  10.2

1785  24.1

1786  82.9

1787 132.0

1788 130.9

1789 118.1

1790  89.9

1791  66.6

1792  60.0

1793  46.9

1794  41.0

1795  21.3

1796  16.0

1797   6.4

1798   4.1

1799   6.8

1800  14.5

1801  34.0

1802  45.0

1803  43.1

1804  47.5

1805  42.2

1806  28.1

1807  10.1

1808   8.1

1809   2.5

1810   0.0

1811   1.4

1812   5.0

1813  12.2

1814  13.9

1815  35.4

1816  45.8

1817  41.1

1818  30.1

1819  23.9

1820  15.6

1821   6.6

1822   4.0

1823   1.8

1824   8.5

1825  16.6

1826  36.3

1827  49.6

1828  64.2

1829  67.0

1830  70.9

1831  47.8

1832  27.5

1833   8.5

1834  13.2

1835  56.9

1836 121.5

1837 138.3

1838 103.2

1839  85.7

1840  64.6

1841  36.7

1842  24.2

1843  10.7

1844  15.0

1845  40.1

1846  61.5

1847  98.5

1848 124.7

1849  96.3

1850  66.6

1851  64.5

1852  54.1

1853  39.0

1854  20.6

1855   6.7

1856   4.3

1857  22.7

1858  54.8

1859  93.8

1860  95.8

1861  77.2

1862  59.1

1863  44.0

1864  47.0

1865  30.5

1866  16.3

1867   7.3

1868  37.6

1869  74.0

1870 139.0

1871 111.2

1872 101.6

1873  66.2

1874  44.7

1875  17.0

1876  11.3

1877  12.4

1878   3.4

1879   6.0

1880  32.3

1881  54.3

1882  59.7

1883  63.7

1884  63.5

1885  52.2

1886  25.4

1887  13.1

1888   6.8

1889   6.3

1890   7.1

1891  35.6

1892  73.0

1893  85.1

1894  78.0

1895  64.0

1896  41.8

1897  26.2

1898  26.7

1899  12.1

1900   9.5

1901   2.7

1902   5.0

1903  24.4

1904  42.0

1905  63.5

1906  53.8

1907  62.0

1908  48.5

1909  43.9

1910  18.6

1911   5.7

1912   3.6

1913   1.4

1914   9.6

1915  47.4

1916  57.1

1917 103.9

1918  80.6

1919  63.6

1920  37.6

1921  26.1

1922  14.2

1923   5.8

1924  16.7

1925  44.3

1926  63.9

1927  69.0

1928  77.8

1929  64.9

1930  35.7

1931  21.2

1932  11.1

1933   5.7

1934   8.7

1935  36.1

1936  79.7

1937 114.4

1938 109.6

1939  88.8

1940  67.8

1941  47.5

1942  30.6

1943  16.3

1944   9.6

1945  33.2

1946  92.6

1947 151.6

1948 136.3

1949 134.7

1950  83.9

1951  69.4

1952  31.5

1953  13.9

1954   4.4

1955  38.0

1956 141.7

1957 190.2

1958 184.8

1959 159.0

1960 112.3

1961  53.9

1962  37.6

1963  27.9

1964  10.2

1965  15.1

1966  47.0

1967  93.8

1968 105.9

1969 105.5

1970 104.5

1971  66.6

1972  68.9

1973  38.0

1974  34.5

1975  15.5

1976  12.6

1977  27.5

1978  92.5

1979 155.4

1980 154.6

1981 140.4

1982 115.9

1983  66.6

1984  45.9

1985  17.9

1986  13.4

1987  29.4

1988 100.2

1989 157.6

1990 142.6

1991 145.7

1992  94.3

1993  54.6

1994  29.9

1995  17.5

1996   8.6

1997  21.5

1998  64.3

1999  93.3

2000 119.6

2001 111.0

2002 104.0

2003  63.7

2004  40.4

2005  29.8

2006  15.2

2007   7.5

.

Disclaimer: I’m not an investment advisor and these articles are for commentary only. For specific advice you should consult your own investment professional.

Your comments are WELCOME! Lengthy comments may time-out before you’re finished so consider doing them in a word doc first then copy and paste to “Leave a Reply” below.

About gerold

I have a bit of financial experience having invested in stocks in the 1960s & 70s, commodities in the 80s & commercial real estate in the 90s (I sold in 2005.) I am appalled at our rapidly deteriorating global condition so I've written articles for family, friends & colleagues since 2007; warning them and doing my best to explain what's happening, what we can expect in the future and what you can do to prepare and mitigate the worst of the economic, social, political and nuclear fallout. As a public service in 2010 I decided to create a blog accessible to a larger number of people because I believe that knowledge not shared is wasted.
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