Scientists say that we could be in for a very big event with regards to the sun, with a “grand minimum” approaching around the 2050 time frame. That would mean that the sun would be at an unusually low point in its normally steady 11-year cycles, which could result in global cooling temperatures.
Scientists recently revealed that the Sun is anticipated to cool down by the mid-century, and will be emitting less radiation, during the period which is dubbed as the grand minimum. A grand minimum is a periodic event for the Sun, during which its magnetic field decreases and becomes weak so much that it could not generate sunspots or intense solar activity.
Physicist Dan Lubin, at the University of California San Diego, along with his colleagues said that the ultraviolet radiation of the sun will be going down by an additional of 7 percent beyond the lowest point of the 11-year solar cycle during a grand minimum. Since the sunlight will be reduced globally, the temperatures are bound to drop as well, offering a natural solution to the issue of global warming, or the climate change.
The climate change is the phenomenon where the global average temperatures are gradually increasing, and experts believe it could very well lead to a rise in sea level, flooding, and extinction of species.
However, Lubin and his colleagues believe otherwise and say that it is not a solution for global warming, it will only help in slowing it down. Eventually, it is a trend of human-induced practices, and will not completely end until such practices are stopped as well. The team elaborated that the cooling effect from the grand solar minimum is merely a fraction of the warming effect as a result from the increasing amount of Earth-warming greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
“The reduced energy from the sun sets into motion a sequence of events on Earth beginning with a thinning of the stratospheric ozone layer. That thinning, in turn, changes the temperature structure of the stratosphere, which then changes the dynamics of the lower atmosphere, especially wind and weather patterns” the team of researchers at the university said in a statement.
In the mid-17th century, a similar phenomenon called the ‘Maunder Minimum’ occurred and dropped the temperatures so much that the Thames River was found to be frozen regularly. During the same period, another amazing incident gained popularity about the freezing of the Baltic Sea due to cold, to such an extent that the Swedish army did manage to invade Denmark in 1658 by marching across the frozen surface of the sea.
A study that was conducted the last year found out that there is a 90 percent increase in the odds that the global temperatures could increase from 2 degrees to 4.9 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. According to the absolute worst-case scenarios, and considering the continuous human-induced release of greenhouse gases, the temperatures could even rise up to 6 degrees Celsius, which is pretty higher than the temperatures in the pre-industrial times. Avoiding that would be the win-win situation for everyone on the planet, which otherwise could lead to a severe catastrophe.