The Sun is behaving erratically and scientists have no idea why. Solar activity is in the process of gradual decline, a change from the norm which in the past has triggered a mini Ice Age lasting for 300 years.
The best solar scientists presented the latest data on solar at a conference last week in Boulder, Colorado, organized by the American Astronomical Society. It was attended by experts from NASA, of 'High Altitude Observatory and' National Solar Observatory and all were in agreement that solar activity, measured by the sunspot and explosions on its surface, is in free fall since the mid- of the '40s.
As is well known, the solar cycles have a duration of 11 years when the activity reaches its peak, is followed by a minimum in which sunspots decrease, have less size and energy. Currently, the Sun should be in the peak phase.
solar cycle In contrast, the current situation is outside the norm, and the number of sunspots seems to be decreasing. The Sun is having a "bizarre behavior," according to Dr. Craig DeForest of the American Astronomical Society.
"The current period of maximum activity is very late and very weak, and it is assumed that the sunspot cycle is ending or entering a dormant stage," he says before the teleconference.
The Irish scientist dr. Ian Elliott has asked a group of experts to forecast sunspot using the usual mathematical models and indicating a maximum and a minimum. The calculations have predicted an average monthly total of sunspots between 90 and 140, "but the current average is 67," says Dr. Elliott. "This is the solar minimum of lesser magnitude never seen in the last 100 years," says Dr. David Hathaway of the NASA. "We are in the solar cycle number 24, which is active for about half of the number 23, but the cycle 25 will still be less active because of the variations in the magnetic flux on the surface of the Sun"
According to Dr Giuliana de Toma of 'High Altitude Observatory there are signs that solar activity is declining but that does not mean it is a Maunder Minimum (which took place between 1645 and 1725 when the' solar activity was extremely low or non-existent, and this has caused a Mini Ice Age).
The effects on the climate could soon be felt. The research of Professor. Mike Lockwood of the University of Reading have shown how solar activity may alter the position of the jet stream over the north Atlantic, resulting in very cold winters. "Everything leads us to think of a Mini Ice Age," he says. "It seems likely that we are entering a period of minimum solar activity and this could mean very cold winters."
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