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Unformatted text preview: Solar Cycle variations We know that sun-spots come and go in an 11-year cycle called the solar cycle. This graph shows that these variations have been seen with varying intensity since 1700. (This is a plot oThis is a plot of sunspot number with time from 1600 to date.) Notice that the peak intensity varies. Notice also the virtual non-existence of sun-spots from 1650 to 1700. This period - the Maunder minimum - corresponded to the "Little Ice Age" in Europe - a period of intensely cold winters (when, for instance, ice fairs used to be held on the frozen Thames). The suns spot record goes back beyond this with Chinese and Korean observations, and more indirect methods can be used to infer solar activity back beyond this, so we are fairly sure that the solar cycle has been discernible for many hundreds of years. There was another minimum, the Sporer minimum, befor ethe Maunder minimum, which also seems to have been accompanied by climate changes.. Does this mean, then that the solar sunspot cycle is correlated with variations climate changes....
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