This PDF file is interesting; in it, Leif Svaalgard and associates lay out their rationale for changing the historical sunspot numbers. The effect is to make the 20th Century’s high solar activity (the “Modern Maximum) seem less unusual. The adjustments are based on proposed problems in the equipment and methodology used to count sunspots going back to the 1700s. Even after these adjustments are taken into account, though, the solar activity in the 20th century still looks unusually high (click on the image or the link to the PDF for a better view):
At the end, the authors note that no matter how you measure it, there is something going on now with the sun:
We don’t know what causes this, but sunspots are becoming more difficult to see or not forming as they used to. There is speculation that this may be what a Maunder-type minimum looks like: magnetic fields still present [cosmic rays still modulated], but just not forming spots. If so, exciting times are ahead.
Indeed. Leif Svaalgard is one of many striving mightily against the notion that the increase in solar activity can explain a large portion of the modest 20th century temperature rise. Governments and environmental radical groups support him. The evidence, I think, does not — and as the IPCC revises their predictions of catastrophe down yet again, the struggle of science versus politics will mean exiting times ahead.
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle