Historical records going back a century showed a strong link between the sun’s activity and droughts in eastern Australia, said University of New England associate professor Robert Baker, reported in The Courier-Mail (13 July 2006 p17).
Sun’s magnetic flip: Dr Baker said there appeared to be a correlation between dry spells and a 22-year-long pattern called the Hale Cycle, in which the sun’s magnetic field flipped between its north and south poles.
Droughts conincidental with phasing of solar activity: When the Hale Cycle was in a phase where the south pole was positive, as a few years ago or in the early 1980s, droughts often blighted the east coast. The droughts were particularly severe if the Hale Cycle coincided with periods when sunspot activity was low, or when the cycle was in step with long-term solar patterns lasting 1500 years or more.
Sunspots indicators of magnetic disruption: Sunspots are violent disturbances in the magnetic field on the sun’s surface which look black because they are cooler than surrounding areas.
Stargazing concerns: "The 1902-1903 and 1922-1923 droughts, which were particularly severe in Queensland, occurred during times when the solar minimum (the least intense part of the sunspot cycle) coincided with a stable part of this 1500-year cycle," Dr Baker said. Dr Baker said it was concerning that the sun was now entering a 500-year period of lower activity.
The Courier Mail, 13/7/2006, p. 17
Source: Erisk Net