Something unusual has been going on in the Sun’s magnetic activity. For the last three centuries or so that we have been observing sunspots, we have seen a regular eleven-year cycle in their behavior. At solar minimum, sunspots are few and far between (sometimes totally absent). This has usually been followed by a sharp upsurge after about 16 months, but the last two cycles have been different.
I recently had a letter published in Physics Today, taking issue with another reader who wrote that “pronouncements concerning global warming issued by the Royal Society and the American Physical Society in 2007 indicate that some societies appear set on usurping science.”
News about the Science Shelf archive of book reviews, columns, and comments by Fred Bortz
Stay tuned for book reviews of Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz and The Flooded Earth: Our Future in a World Without Polar Caps by Peter D. Ward.
I will post reviews here after they appear in major metropolitan newspapers.