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Forget COVID-19; Could the Coming Solar

Minimum Have an Even Worse Effect on Life?


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, June 3, 2020


   It can’t be cured with a vaccine; government lockdown mandates will be ineffective to combat it and no amount of socialist spin will get us through it.  In fact, there is nothing mankind can do to stop it.  That is, the coming Grand Solar Minimum in our sun’s natural solar cycle.

   The sun goes through a natural eleven year cycle where there are peaks in output radiance, energy and sunspot activity followed by troughs of minimal activity.  This has been going on ever since it was formed.  Those 11 year cycles also fluctuate through maximum and minimums themselves over much longer time periods. 

   We are currently leaving Cycle 24 and going into Cycle 25.  As you can see from the NASA chart above, The past three successive cycles have shown diminishing solar activity.   This is not caused by “global warming” or “climate change” so there is no global tax that will fix it.  This is caused by natural processes within the sun itself which vary the magnetic field and the amount of energy emitted by the sun.

   The most remarkable solar minimum on record happened in the mid 1600s through early 1700’s - during what is now called the “Little Ice Age.”  It was named the Maunder Minimum after husband and wife team, Edward and Annie Maunder who studied the solar activity of that period in the late 1800’s.

  During the early 1700’s Grand Solar Minimum, there was snow in July in some places in the Northern Hemisphere where there otherwise should have been summer.  While decreased sunspot activity and solar radiation output was at a significant lull, there is a theory being explored that increased volcanic activity at that time may have put enough ash particulates into the atmosphere to reflect the sunlight and cool temperatures globally.

   With that said, there are correlations with the sun’s solar cycle and temperatures in the Earth’s atmosphere that we are only now beginning to understand. 

   The implications of a sun with prolonged reduced energy output is most worrisome from an agricultural perspective:  plants need energy from the sun to grow efficiently and the lengths of our growing seasons can be adversely affected by such reduced output, thus affecting world food supplies.

The most telling indicator of solar activity are sunspots.  Sunspots are darker, cooler regions of the sun with intense magnetic fields.  They are accompanied by solar prominences which appear to be huge flames of ionized gas looping between them.  As the sun rotates on its axis, the differential in rotation among linked sunspots of varying latitudes causes the prominence to “snap” off and fly into space as a solar flare.  These phenomena do not appear in the sun’s photosphere ( there really isn’t a solid “surface” like there is on earth) spontaneously.  Rather, they begin to develop deep within the sun’s core and work their way to the outside over eleven years.

    Dr. Valentina Zharkova Ph. D., a solar physicist and professor of mathematics at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne, England says the Grand Solar Minimum isn’t going to happen all at once, and it isn’t going to be over with in a year; she also says the temperature decrease isn’t expected to be as dramatic as it was in the 1700’s.   “What we expect for the modern grand minimum, the decrease of temperature will be slightly smaller than it was during the Maunder Minimum.   So if the [average global] temperature in this minimum will decrease 0.8 degrees it will be probably not as cold as it was in Maunder minimum,” Zharkova said in a recent video documentary.  “There will still be cold.  Not the next eleven years, but between cycle 25 and 26, the least active cycle will be cycle 26 when this disruptive interference occurs.”

  Since we are now entering Cycle 25, it will be another eleven years before Cycle 26 is upon us.  But, we could be starting to feel the cooling effects and seasonal disruptions now as the Antarctic ice sheet has grown massively in size and the Arctic ice sheet has replaced nearly all of the ice it lost in the past decade or so.

   Zharkova says the cooling off period will be over a matter of years before we come out of the minimum and start warming up again.  But the lowest part of the minimum is at least eleven years away. 

  “So, between cycle 25 in eleven years and between cycle 26 and 27 this will be the most cold period on the Earth and probably we will feel it with the lack in our vegetation period [a shorter growing season],” explained Zharkova.  “The 25th cycle will not be the lowest one.  It will be slightly lower than the 24th but it's already started showing up.  I've been contacted by biologists from Greece and meteorologists from Finland.  They're reporting that in Greece, the vegetation period [growing season] in many trees and bushes is starting now one month later.  So, nature feels that the solar magnetic field is decreasing.  So, we don't feel it, we argue with each other, but nature somehow knows what's going on, so they're starting later.  They start and flourish later.  They do not put the first leaves [i.e. sprout] in March, probably in April.  Nature feels it and it's happening already.”

   Joanna Haigh, professor of Atmospheric Physics, Imperial College, London explains how the reduced solar activity mostly affects the upper atmosphere of the Earth first, before a cascade effect trickles down to lower altitudes and finally the weather on the earth's surface.

   “There are measures of eleven year cycle variability in a number of different climate records, the most obvious of which is up in the stratosphere.  You can see an eleven year cycle in 11 year temperature and ozone concentrations.  Near the surface, there are 11 year signals, it's quite difficult to extract,” said Haigh in a recent documentary video interview.  “They're quite small and the statistics are difficult but it does seem that there are indications, particularly in the North Atlantic region where we seem to get colder winters when the sun is less active on the 11 year cycle.  So, we've got these indicators that there are climate effects.  Another one is Pacific Ocean temperatures in the tropics which seem to be surprisingly cooler when the sun is more active.  So, if we think the statistics are correct, we now need to understand the physics of what's going on.”

   Haigh explained how solar radiation output changes only a few tenths of one percent in the visible light spectrum of the sun over the eleven year cycle, but in the ultraviolet (UV) the changes are much more drastic.

  “Although the total radiation is changing over the 11 year cycle by perhaps a few tenths of one percent - a very small amount - that's not the same at all wavelengths of the solar spectrum.  So, that's to the visible where of course most of the energy from the solar spectrum is coming in but in ultraviolet wavelengths the variation is much larger.  So, if you go from 300 to 200 nanometer wavelengths you find that there are several percent variation in solar radiation over the solar cycle.  If you go to 100 nanometers, getting further away in the UV, it's doubling between solar max and solar mins.  Clearly, this is an interesting physics question.  What happens to this UV?  We've got the big changes in the UV, where is it absorbed in the atmosphere? 

   Research has shown the UV is absorbed in the upper atmosphere where a delicate balance of UV rays of varying frequency both create and destroy ozone on a continual basis and subtly affect the temperature of that region.  “In particular, the slightly closer UV, 300 to 250 nanometer wavelengths is absorbed in the stratosphere and we can see changes in temperature in the stratosphere, we can see changes in ozone in the stratosphere which is interesting in its own right, but that doesn't tell us about the climate at the surface [of the earth].,” said Haigh.  “Our current work is focused very much on coupling the different layers of the atmosphere; the stratosphere and the lower atmosphere, the troposphere and also coupling between the troposphere and the oceans as to how some of these apparent solar effects take place.” 

   “We now understand that changes in the stratosphere can affect the surface climate through changes in the winds and circulations and then there may be a knock on effect of the wind stress on oceans, producing some of the observed ocean effects.  So, this is really where a lot of the current research is going on.”

   With shorter, cooler and wetter growing seasons predicted for 2031 through 2050, molds and fungi will tend to grow more readily, further disturbing the world's food supply that may already be suffering from shorter growing seasons and reduced food output per acre.

   Taking a myopic view of earth's changing climate as being caused solely by CO2 and man's industrial activity is a sophomoric way of understanding how the earth's climate changes due to natural processes.  Haigh warns climate gurus who ascribe to the one size fits all CO2 theory that, “Changes in solar radiation reaching the earth either because of the sun's variation, or because of the earth's orbital variations, is fundamental to our understanding of climate and climate change and we need to understand that in order to be able to be more certain about human activity and how that's affecting the climate.”