A Matter of Some Gravity

2007-12-13

Last night I read a fascinating paper by Richard Mackey entitled Rhodes Fairbridge and the idea that the solar system regulates the Earth's climate (HT: ArtD0dger). I need to re-read it (and follow up on the references) in order to understand it more fully, but as far as I can see Fairbridge makes a plausible argument that:

  1. The solar system is not quite heliocentric since its center of mass is not exactly the center of the sun (because of the gravitational forces exerted by the planets, especially Jupiter).
  2. Therefore, the sun experiences chaotic but somewhat patterned changes in its fusion process and the like.
  3. As a result, the solar wind and solar tide change over time.
  4. These changes affect the earth's climate in somewhat predictable ways.

The upshot of the most recent predictions is that the years 2010-2040 may be unusually cold on the third planet from the sun. Stay tuned for details...


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