Sunspot Cycles and the Impacts
Sunspots are dark regions located on the sun’s surface, these areas are very important to us here on earth, when a sunspot develops it will eventually overtime create a burst that will emit solar radiation in higher amounts towards the earth. You may wonder why this is important, well let’s take a look. First, the sun heats the earth no question to that, due to the incoming solar radiation, so if you have a sunspot that erupts and now just adds more solar radiation to the earth’s atmosphere it will eventually aid in warming the earth,it’s like taking your oven and turning up the heat higher from 375 to maybe 425, more heat being released from the oven or in our case the sun. So now that we saw how sunspots can interact with the earth, let’s take a look at what a sunspot cycle is, the sunspot cycle can best be defined as a period of increased solar activity to a decrease in solar activity. This cycle takes roughly eleven years to complete one cycle meaning if you were to go from a solar max to another solar max it would be about eleven years. Now let’s take a look at what happens during a solar cycle, first the terms of a solar cycle, first we have solar max( this best defines when the sunspots are most active), then we have a solar min(when there is less activity on the sun).
So let’s examine one cycle and see some interesting weather events that took place during a cycle, we will use 2002 which roughly puts us into a solar max part of the cycle, if you recall we were seeing record heat events taking place(Warming Event) across the globe and also increase in droughts(Warming Event) along with places having very mild winters (Warming Event), these were just a few things making the headlines during this time period, oh did I mention that our solar max was roughly around 2002 as well, hmm interesting, solar max, increase in incoming solar radiation to the earth…. Now let’s examine a few events of 2009, one of the very few times that the entire 50 states of the US saw snow cover yes even Florida, record cold events were taking place, hmm an increase in COLD events, wonder why oh that is right in 2009 we were near a solar min, a decrease in incoming solar radiation to the earth. These are just some small events to take a look at.
So as we recall climate is the average of temperatures and moisture of a given location over atleast thirty years, so as we noted a solar cycle takes about eleven years to complete, so doing the math we could easily see two complete cycles and almost a complete third cycle during this time period. So in that thirty year time frame it looks like some places will see warm winters and very cold winters all part of the balancing act.
Thirdly, looking at another aspect of the solar cycle, each solar cycle has a different strength level meaning you could have a strong cycle with a lot of sunspots and then you could have another cycle that doesn’t have as many, prime example of this, the latest cycle that we are in right now is showing just that, the solar max is a lot weaker than the early 2000 cycle, hence probably why we are dealing with more colder events and longer periods of time of these colder events as of that past couple of years, possibly just the start of a longer cooler period on earth, not an Ice Age, but for sure cooler.
These solar cycles have been occurring ever since the earth has been around and will continue to occur right on schedule, allowing for an always changing climate and weather pattern.
Is it possible? That during a longer period of weaker solar maxes, that these could be a trigger factor into a start of an Ice age on earth, it sure will play some role in that along with other variables as well. Could it also be possible that during longer periods of higher solar maxes that we could be dealing with warming periods on earth, like what we have been dealing with, all of this is very possible due to the fluctuation of the sun.
So as you can see it is very important to keep tabs on the sun and know what it is doing at all times as it’s our primary heat source to the earth and without the sun it may just be cold.