Is sunlight at a faster and hotter frequency today?

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Offline Aldaar

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In the '60's NASA observed a galactic sized cloud of what they called photons and called it the Golden Nebula. This term can be Googled for information.
I am convinced that the sun feels oppressively hotter than it did for most of my life - I'm 63. All the planets and the sun are hotter than than they used to be
in our own lifetimes. If our solar system has entered a field of energy - photons or whatever (my understanding of photons is that they travel and don't collect in
'clouds') is this causing the sun to have a different or enhanced form of combustion? And is there any difference in the frequency of solar light than say forty years ago?
Thanks, Aldaar


Offline evan_au

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Re: Is sunlight at a faster and hotter frequency today?
« Reply #1 on: 25/05/2014 12:49:49 »
The photon belt or Golden Nebula appears to be a New Age philosophy, rather than a scientific observation:

You are quite correct that photons in free space do not tend to collect in clouds or belts.

Most of the energy emitted by the sun is determined by its temperature, which is determined by its enormous thermal inertia. The Sun is surrounded by a bubble of space whose properties are dominated by the Sun itself, the heliosphere. Some of NASA's probes are just now starting to exit this region of space. Interstellar clouds outside the heliosphere will have minimal impact on the Sun's output.

There have been some temperature variations noticed:
  • It has been seen through satellite measurements that the Sun's output has varied by about 0.1% with the sunspot cycle, over an 11-year cycle. However, this is small compared to the summer-winter variation, so you are unlikely to have noticed it.
  • It has been seen that global average temperatures have been increasing with atmospheric carbon dioxide. This amounts to around 0.6C over 30 years. This is also small compared to summer-winter variations.
  • However, the 0.6C increase in average temperatures means that we are likely to break more records for extremely hot days than for extremely cold days. These extremely hot days are very noticeable, especially if building practices are not designed for hot temperatures. 

Since humans tend to acclimatise to the summer and winter temperatures, I suggest that you would not have a precise memory of the temperatures (say) 30 years ago, or be able to accurately compare them to today's temperatures. For this, I suggest that you rely on the extensive weather records that go back more than a century in most towns and cities.

If you feel uncomfortable in summer, I suggest a shade on the sunward side of the house, better insulation, a fan or air-conditioning.


Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is sunlight at a faster and hotter frequency today?
« Reply #2 on: 25/05/2014 19:07:27 »
The sun also emits a "solar wind" which consists of charged particles (mainly protons and electrons).  Similar to the solar wind, there are cosmic rays made of high energy charged particles originating elsewhere in the milky way, or universe.  These could potentially vary in density, whether or not they would have a significant effect on the Earth or the sun is still unknown.

Not only do the solar cycles vary over about a decade, but there are longer term variations in the solar cycles.  It is widely believed that the sun actually was somewhat cooler during the late 1600's (Maunder Minimum/Little Ice Age).  Most recent solar cycles have been fairly high intensity, with the exception of the 1970's, and the current solar cycle.   This winter, western Oregon had the coldest weather since the early 70's and last weak solar cycle.  The sun may have also been in a period of weaker intensity during much of the last glacial period prior to the Holocene.

Many theories also indicate that the sun has been slowly increasing in intensity over the last 4.5 billion years, but probably not on a scale you could notice over a few decades of your life.

There are also a number of ocean cycles that affect the weather including the El Niño and La Niña cycles in the Pacific ocean as well as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

As Evan mentioned, the recent buildup of CO2 may be contributing to a slight increase in global temperatures of about a half degree celsius over the last few decades. 

It is hard to feel a ½° change in temperature, but you might notice if there were more days over 90°F or 100°F, or changes in snow and ice patterns.

Perhaps a person's heat and cold tolerance would also change over their lifetime, especially if a person gains or looses weight.