While not a lot of people realize this, the sun is active on its surface, sure sometimes it’s more active than others but overall it’s not just sitting there. The more active it is the more we face here on Earth.
Now, in recent times it has been noticed that there have been 100 days in 2020 where our Sun has had zero sunspots. This leading some to believe we’re facing solar minimum. For those who do not know solar minimum is the period of ‘least solar activity’ during the cycle of the Sun itself. This is something we’ve known was coming for quite some time now.
The Dalton Minimum between the years 1790 and 1830 brought things like brutal cold weather, loss of crops, famine, and so much more. However, it seems that had more to do with a volcanic eruption than the low solar activity itself. Sure, there are some who believe the minimum itself caused those things to happen and perhaps even the volcanic eruption itself but it just doesn’t seem like solar activity can do as much in this sense as we might be afraid of.
It doesn’t seem like anything too drastic will happen. The effects of this overall will likely be minimal unless extreme circumstances happen. Sure, it is important to be aware of the past so that we can help direct the future as needed but more information is needed. While the sun is important and its activity levels do matter that’s not all we’re seeing at play.
Considering the effects we’re seeing of climate change itself and other things of the sort perhaps we shouldn’t be too worried about all of this. Surely the activity of our sun will pick up soon and we won’t note anything too drastic, right? What we are seeing right now in solar activity is a pattern we see all too often.
Forbes wrote as follows on when solar maximum could be:
It’s thought that the Sun will reach solar maximum in the mid-2020s, though exactly when sunspot frequency will peak is anyone’s guess. It’s something that can usually only be described in retrospect. The last solar maximum was in 2013/2014, but was was ranked among the weakest on record.
Once way to gauge what’s going on visually is by counting sunspots—and the other is by looking at the Sun’s mighty corona during a total solar eclipse.
Luckily, there’s one coming up in North America right on cue.
I guess at the end of the day we should be more focused on other topics. Whether we’re facing a minimum or not it is important to note that the amount of solar radiation we’re getting here on our home planet is stable. If this was not stable then maybe there would be cause for real concern but it is stable and that we should be glad about. In order for this solar minimum to cause something like freezing weather we would need to see a much longer more drastic dip and the chances of that happening are extremely low.
For more information on solar minimum and what it is please check out the video below. Could we be in solar minimum right now? I guess, it sure would make sense considering the decreased activity that has been noted.
UPDATE: Remarks made by the Astronomer Dr. Tony Phillips when speaking to the Sun have been removed from this article as it seems low solar activity does not actually have much effect on climate in general and section from NY Post has been removed as well since it somewhat supported those claims. More accurate information has been added, the chances of freezing temperatures or things of that nature to come forth from this solar minimum are extremely low. The effects of climate change are causing much more changes than low solar activity at this time would ever be capable of.