2012 – Solar Maximum – Cycle 24
What on Earth does that mean (excuse the pun). According to NASA the Sun is supposed to enter one of its strongest recorded sun-spot activity periods. This would mean a lot of solar flairs that would ultimately disrupt our terrestrial lives.
Some would go as far as saying that with our fragile power grid we would endure extended power outages. Our dependency on GPS would be compromised. Computers, cellphones and alike would not work.
All this is supposed to peak in 2012.
Cosmic Katrina – A Solar Superstorm Could Cost $2 Trillion. What’s that George Carlin line? “Don’t sweat the snow flurries?” After reading this article you may not be quite as freaked out about snow. No, now I’m a bit paranoid about our nearest life-giving star: “In the event of a major storm, researchers anticipate a widespread power outage. If such an outage lasts, they say that this could lead to “disruption of the transportation, communication, banking and finance system, and government services; the breakdown of the distribution potable water owing to pump failure; and the loss of perishable foods and medications because of lack of refrigeration,”according to the National Academy of Sciences.
To determine just how significant such an event could be, scientists from the Metatech Corporation simulated the damage that the 1920 solar storm would inflict on modern infrastructure. They concluded that 130 million people could be left without power, and more than 350 electrical transformers could be permanently damaged, with the greatest U.S. vulnerability in the north west and East Coast. The price tag for such a severe solar storm of this magnitude, according to Metatech, could run from $1 trillion to $2 trillion in the first year, with a recovery time of 4 to 10 years. “
Yet something strange is happening that can’t be explained. The Sun is quiet. There has been no increase in solar activity. There are no sunspots.
What has happened to our sun? NASA’s Heliospheric Team Leader, David Hathaway, says he cannot find another solar minimum in the past that has acted quite like this one that has put out only a few sunspots since Solar Cycle 24 officially began at the end of 2008.
Our sun is so quiet that solar physicists from around the world gathered in September to discuss whether we are entering a period similar to the Maunder Minimum of 1645 to 1715, when for 70 years the sun was spotless and there was a mini-ice age. There was no ACE satellite then, but measurements of beryllium concentrations in ice layers indicate that during the Maunder Minimum, cosmic rays were 2.5 times what they are now. Dr. Hathaway points out that Earth scientists did not start measuring cosmic rays until the beginning of the modern Space Age in the early 1960s, and that for the past five decades, our sun might have been unusually active.
Lets take a close look at that paragraph (see the source link).
“and that for the past five decades, our sun might have been unusually active.” Hmmm, at the same time scientists have made claims and politicians have defined sweeping legislation that Man is the cause of global warming. The experts have stated that in the last few decades our average temperature has increased significantly. It doesn’t take much to draw a parallel here. Especially when there are reports that our neighbor planet Mars has also experienced global warming.
“similar to the Maunder Minimum of 1645 to 1715 when for 70 years the sun was spotless and there was a mini-ice age”. Some scientists are already implying that we’re heading for a mini-ice age
During the period 1645–1715, in the middle of the Little Ice Age, there was a period of low solar activity known as the Maunder Minimum. There is a still very poor understanding of the correlation between low sunspot activity and cooling temperatures. The Spörer Minimum has also been identified with a significant cooling period between 1460 and 1550.
I have long attested to the notion that the sun’s activities MUST be included in any global warming models. The sun severely impacts our lives. It does more than produce heat and light!
Here are some additional comments…
Global Warming Or The Coming Ice Age?
According to Geophysicist Phil Chapman, pictures from SOHO show that there is no sunspot activity on the sun at present. He also noted that the world cooled quickly between January last year and January this year, by about 0.7C! He also cautioned that another mini Ice Age could come without warning. source
Now this 11-year low in Sunspot activity has raised fears among a small but growing number of scientists that rather than getting warmer, the Earth could possibly be about to return to another cooling period. The idea is especially intriguing considering that most of the world is in preparation for global warming.
Oleg Sorokhtin, a fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences believes that a lack of sunspots does indicate a coming cooling period based on certain past trends and early records. In fact, he calls manmade climate change “a drop in the bucket” compared to the fierce and abrupt cold that can potentially be brought on by inactive solar phases.
and a little more comments on upcoming sunspot activity…
Detailed solar Angular Momentum (AM) graphs produced from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) DE405 ephemeris display cyclic perturbations that show a very strong correlation with prior solar activity slowdowns. These same AM perturbations also occur simultaneously with known solar path changes about the Solar System Barycentre (SSB). The AM perturbations can be measured and quantified allowing analysis of past solar cycle modulations along with the 11,500 year solar proxy records (14C & 10Be). The detailed AM information also displays a recurring wave of modulation that aligns very closely with the observed sunspot record since 1650. The AM perturbation and modulation is a direct product of the outer gas giants (Uranus & Neptune). This information gives the opportunity to predict future grand minima along with normal solar cycle strength with some confidence. A proposed mechanical link between solar activity and planetary influence via a discrepancy found in solar/planet AM along with current AM perturbations indicate solar cycle 24 & 25 will be heavily reduced in sunspot activity resembling a similar pattern to solar cycles 5 & 6 during the Dalton Minimum (1790-1830). source