What happens when a non-scientist (Seth Borenstein, Boston University, BS Journalism [http://www.linkedin.com/pub/8/b5a/438]) reports on science:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090402/ap_on_sc/sci_quiet_sun_2 [original link is dead, try this one:
Note the second sentence in the AP report…
WASHINGTON – The sun has been unusually quiet lately, with fewer sunspots and weaker magnetic fields than in nearly a century. A quiet sun is good for Earth: GPS systems are more accurate, satellites stay in orbit longer; even the effects of manmade global warming are marginally reduced, though just by three-tenths of a degree at most. [emphasis added]
If I am not mistaken, the sentence is drawing a connection between fewer sunspots and a lower temperature. Is that not reducing the effects of sun-made global warming?
Also, I think the effects of global warming are supposed to be on the order of about 0.1ºC to 1.0 ºC per decade over 50 years [http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2120] or 1.4ºC to 5.8ºC over the next century [http://www.greenfacts.org/studies/climate_change/level_1.htm#3], or 0.74ºC over the last century and 2.4ºC to 6.4ºC in the 21st century worst-case [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPCC_Fourth_Assessment_Report], depending which source of hysteria you reference.
Hmmm, sunspot activity accounts for 0.36ºC to 0.54ºC in one year (main statement in first paragraph does not use units, forth paragraph from bottom notes Fahrenheit) and Cicerone states that “manmade heating effects are 13 times greater than the variations from solar activity.”
That would mean that manmade heating is expected to move temperatures by 4.68ºC to 7.02ºC a year!
Does nobody actually check these numbers?
I guess the general public is just willing to swallow whatever they are fed, as long as it sounds official.