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September 5, 2018

Green Supply Chain News: Low Sun Spot Activity Causing Fears a Big Freeze is Coming

Similar Patterns in 1645 Led to 70 Years of Very Cold Weather

By The Green Supply Chain Editorial Staff

In recent years, several environmental scientists have warned that for a number of decades, the earth  should be a lot more worried about global cooling than global warming.


For example, as we reported in 2015, professor Valentina Zharkova of the UK's Northumbria University said her research has cracked the code for predicting solar cycles - and that between 2020 and 2030 a pair of solar cycles will in effect cancel each other out, just as opposite radio waves can do, greatly reducing heat from the sun.

The Green Supply Chain Says:
If all this is true – and let’s say at this point that is a very big if – it would clearly have a major impact on global warming debate.

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The result: a "mini-ice age," caused by something called the Maunder Minimum, when solar flares become increasingly rare. When last seen in the years 1645 to about 1715, it became exceedingly cold, such that London's Thames River froze for one of the relatively few times in history.


Well that possibility is back in the news this week, as the UK’s Daily Express writing that scientists are reporting that the sun has been free of sunspots for a total of 133 days this year. With only a bit over 240 days of 2018 passing, that means the sun has been blank for the majority of the year.


“Experts warn this is a sign that the solar minimum is on its way,” the Daily Express says.


The sun, it turns out, follows cycles of roughly 11 years where it reaches a solar maximum and then a solar minimum. During a solar maximum, the sun gives off more heat and is littered with sunspots. Less heat in a solar minimum is due to a decrease in magnetic waves.


The Daily Express reports that the sun was not expected to head into a solar minimum until around 2020, but it appears to be heading in early - which could prove to be bad news.




Because the last time there was a prolonged solar minimum, it led to the mini ice-age and Maunder minimum referenced above, which lasted for an incredible 70 years.


And it happened when sunspots were exceedingly rare.


Back then, temperatures dropped globally by 1.3 degrees Celsius during the 70-year period, leading to shorter seasons and ultimately food shortages.


Vencore Weather, a meteorological website, said: “Low solar activity is known to have consequences on Earth’s weather and climate and it also is well correlated with an increase in cosmic rays that reach the upper part of the atmosphere.”

“The blank sun is a sign that the next solar minimum is approaching and there will be an increasing number of spotless days over the next few years,” the Daily Express notes.


If all this is true – and let’s say at this point that is a very big if – it would clearly have a major impact on global warming debate. Some climatologists, however, say that while there may be sun-induced cooling for a few years, it will be a small blip in the overall warming trend caused by CO2 emissions.


The Met Office, the UK's governmental weather service, said in 2017 that a new mini-ice age is a "worst case scenario", and that while temperatures are in fact likely to dip a bit in coming years, it will do little to offset man-made global warming.

Shorts or winter coats? Better have a good supply of each, to hedge your bets.

What is your take on the predictions for global cooling soon? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback button below.

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