What Lies Ahead? The Grand Solar Minimum
Submitted by Luke Eastwood
We are all aware of the environnmental crisis that humanity (and all life on Earth) faces, characterised by the term ‘climate change’. Much of the current thinking in the scientific community is promoting the idea that our planet is rapidly warming due to excess CO2 (carbon dioxide) gas produced by humans in the last few centuries, and the last 70 years in particular.
While there is a very strong and hard to deny case to suggest that human activity is the main cause of environmental destruction, the premise that it is due primarily to CO2 emissions is beginning to look somewhat flawed. I am well aware that the previous sentence is likely to draw a lot of negative attention and criticism, with accusations of ‘climate denier’ being thrown at me. However, the situation is not that simple as to be a case of ‘global warming’ being the main influence or no influence at all.
The reality of the situation is complex. In my opinion the main drivers of the environmental crisis are many, but put in simple terms – destruction of wild habitats, pollution due to industrialisation, over-use of soils, over-population, erosion of soils leading to desertification or barren, infertile landscapes, monoculture agriculture and climate fluctuations. Notice that I did not use the term ‘climate change’ which in the current scientific norm implies warming.
While the planet has undoubtedly warmed up, in part due to human activity and CO2 production, the current popular thinking completely ignores historical CO2 levels beyond the last millennium and also the primary input on temperatures on this planet and all eight of the planets in this solar system. That input, although largely ignored at the moment, is of course our sun, which on average generates 3.8 x 1026 Joules (energy) per second. Human energy usage per year is around 5 x 1020 Joules, which is about 1 million times less than the Sun produces during 1 second! In fact, in the whole of human history we have used less energy that the Sun produces in that 1 second.
So, given the above, it stand to reason that the energy of the Sun must have a significant effect on the energy available on this planet and the heat energy (temperature) that is captured by it, as it rotates around the Sun. If we look at the history of Earth, particularly through the use of ice-core samples, we can see that the temperatures on our planet follow a very distinct pattern. On a macro level this can be observed as a huge cycle of glacials (ice-ages) and interglacials, with the ice ages lasting many times longer than the interglacial (warm) periods. We are currently in an interglacial, which began approximately 11,500 years ago and it is estimated that it will end some time within the next 50,000 years.
On a micro level, the Sun undergoes cycles of around 11 years known as the solar magnetic activity cycle, which has been studied and recorded by humans for approximately 400 years. During each cycle the number of sunspots peaks and falls in a recognisable pattern. However, this pattern of approx. 11 years is itself part of a much longer solar pattern of solar minimums and solar maximums. For instance the Medieval maximum (grand solar maximum) lasted from 1100-1250 (warm period) and the famous Maunder Minimum (grand solar minimum) lasted from 1645-1715 (cold period). The later was known as a mini ice age due the particularly drastic drop in global temperatures that affected crop-growth and led to bitter winters for a period of 70 years.
Scientists that study the sun are well aware of these periodic cycles both on the 11 year scale and on the larger scale of 70–100 years, known as the Gleissberg cycle. We have just finished a solar maximum cycle of around 70 years and are now heading into a both a new 11 year cycle and a new grand solar minimum cycle that will reach its lowest (coldest) point some time between 2030 and 2040. You don’t need to take my word for it – this has been confirmed by NASA and by the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA). NOAA predictions of sunspot and radio flux appears to show a ‘full-blown’ grand solar minimum (GSM) which will last from the late-2020s to at least the 2040s.
This means that the coming solar minimum is going to be not only a grand solar minimum, but perhaps the worst one since the Maunder Minimum in the 1600s. One would expert this to have been front-page news, but outside of the scientific community this information is virtually unheard of and little understood. One must ask – why is this the case? The simple answer to this question is that the solar predictions destroy the current scientific and cultural narrative of ‘Climate Change’ in the form of warming.
There will indeed be climate change in the coming decades, but for the next 10 to 40 years it is going to get colder, not warmer! The same thing will happen on the 7 other planets in this solar system, because the main factor affecting planetary temperatures is the activity of the Sun. Given that so much time, effort and money has been invested in ‘global warming’ as a premise for change in how human society is run, it is very much an “inconvenient truth” that is beginning to arrive just at the time when we are beginning to take more affirmative action on environmental issues.
The controversial news that the Earth (and all 7 other planets) will cool down in the next 10-40 years is politically highly inconvenient and that is why it is being kept quiet. Getting rid of fossil fuels, caring for our environment, lowering industrial output, ending industrial farming and reducing livestock, plus a gradual reduction in the human population are all excellent goals. Unfortunately the rationale for doing this, that has been sold to the public, is most likely entirely misguided. The net effect of this false premise may well be that environmentalists and main-stream public scientists will look like fools by the end of this decade. The cooling of planet Earth may well be seen as justification to abandon environmental concerns and reform of our economic systems, which would be a terrible tragedy.
In order to avoid this highly likely total embarrassment, world governments and the scientific community need to admit that the coming dip in solar energy output is going to lead to the cooling of our planet for at least 2 decades, possibly 4 or 5 or even 7 decades! This is not conspiracy, this is not mis-information or propaganda – this is proven, verifiable fact which can be validated by current solar observation, previous observation of sun cycles for 400 years and ice-core samples stretching back millions of years.
As someone who has been involved in the environmental movement since I was 16, when I joined a conservation group at college, I am very concerned about how this plays out. If the public feels that they have been lied to it may lead to a backlash and a disinterest in environmental issues. The reasons I outlined at the beginning of this article are more than sufficient for humanity to change its modus operandi. One does not need to concoct highly improbable narratives about the world ‘burning up’ within decades to justify environmental activism. In fact the coming GSM is likely to produce similar negative effects to predicted ‘global warming’, such as habitat loss, loss of farming land, a drop in food availability, migration, social unrest and possibly other problems too.
It is time that the whole ‘climate change’ theory was re-assessed and the known solar activity cycle as observed by NOAA and NASA taken into account. To fail to do so is total folly and only creates another problem, that will come back to haunt us if the grand solar minimum is ignored. We do need to take better care of our world and learn to live far more harmoniously within it, but we need to base our actions on good science and not on misleading or inaccurate information.