by Jamie Seidel
may be due for a 'grand minimum'
11-year hot-cold cycle,
the Earth by several tenths of a degree Celcius
tumbling weather patterns.
It's producing less
less magnetism and less
But don't expect this
by our life-giving Sun
to halt climate change.
'Man-made global warming'
is incredibly egotistical in the face of creation
there is a direct relationship between the sun
and earth's temperature, and the sun is headed
toward an unusually cool period.
global cooling is
Our Sun is
about to get unusually cool, researchers predict
By 2050, our Sun is expected to be unusually cool.
It's what scientists have termed a 'grand
minimum' - a particularly low point in what is otherwise
a steady 11-year cycle. Over this cycle, the Sun's tumultuous heart
races and rests.
At its high point, the nuclear fusion at the Sun's core forces more
magnetic loops high into its boiling atmosphere - ejecting more
ultraviolet radiation and generating sunspots and flares.
When it's quiet, the Sun's surface goes calm. It ejects less
Now scientists have scoured the skies and history for evidence of an
even greater cycle amid these cycles.
It appears that every 400 years or so,
goes through a particularly cool cycle.
One particularly cool period in the 17th Century guided
An intense cold snap between 1645 and 1715 has been dubbed the "Maunder
In England, the Thames river froze over. The Baltic Sea was covered
in ice - so much so that the Swedish army was able to march across
it to invade Denmark in 1658.
But the cooling was not uniform:
patterns warmed up Alaska and Greenland.
These records were
combined with 20 years of data collected by the International
Ultraviolet Explorer satellite mission, as well as observations
of nearby stars similar to the Sun.
Now physicist Dan Lubin at the University of California San
Diego has calculated an estimate of how much dimmer the Sun is
likely to be when the next such grand minimum takes place.
His team's study, 'Ultraviolet
Flux Decrease Under a Grand Minimum from IUE Short-wavelength
Observation of Solar Analogs,' has been published in the
journal Astrophysical Journal Letters.
It finds the Sun is likely to be 7 per cent cooler than
its usual minimum...
And another grand minimum is likely to be just decades away, based
on the cooling spiral of recent solar cycles.
While the Sun's 'grand minimum' phase
only cool surface temperatures
few tenths of a degree
have a major impact upon weather patterns.
A quiet Sun has a noticeable effect on its planets.
For Earth, Lubin says, it first thins the stratospheric
ozone layer. This impacts the
insulating effect of the atmosphere, with flow-on effects including
major changes to wind and weather patterns.
But it won't stop the current trend of planetary warning, Lubin
"The cooling effect
of a grand minimum is only a fraction of the warming effect
caused by the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere," a statement from the research team reads.
"After hundreds of thousands of years of CO2 levels
never exceeding 300 parts per million in air, the concentration
of the greenhouse gas is now over 400 parts per million,
continuing a rise that began with the Industrial Revolution."
One simulation of a grand
minimum on the Earth's current climate anticipates a reduction of
Solar warming by 0.25 per cent over a 50-year period between 2020
While the global average surface air temperature appears to cool by
"several tenths of a degree Celsius" in the initial years, this
reduction was rapidly overtaken by ever-increasing trends.
"A future grand solar
minimum could slow down but not stop global warming," the study
"Now we have a benchmark from which we can perform better
climate model simulations," Lubin says. "We can therefore have a
better idea of how changes in solar UV radiation affect climate