A Cooler and Dimmer Sun by 2050

Scientists have developed a new study, indicating that a dimmer sun awaits us by 2050. The sun will become cooler since scientists revealed evidence that it experiences a massive minimum. The sun will reach a certain point in an 11-year cycle when its surface will be calm. In this way, during the high point of the cycle, the sun will eject more ultraviolet rays.

This could be pretty dangerous since it will lead to more sunspots and flares. The “grand minimum”, as scientists call it, represents the low point in the solar cycle since the nuclear fusion subsides. Scientists have discovered historical proof regarding an even longer sun cycle. Hence, specialists have indicated that the period between 1645 and 1715 was a cool period.

This interval was dubbed as the “Maunder Minimum”. Back in 1658, the Baltic Sea froze, and the Swedish Army was able to march toward Denmark. A similar thing occurred with the river Thames in England. Nevertheless, those cooler periods were not uniform. A study published in the “Astrophysical Journal Letters” analyzes these patterns.

The paper is called “Ultraviolet Flux Decrease Under a Grand Minimum from IUE Short-wavelength Observation of Solar Analogs”. Dan Lubin is the lead author of the study and research at the University of California San Diego. Relying on the data that the International Ultraviolet Explorer has gathered. This information was collected during the satellite mission from the last 20 years.

The satellite has also looked at the behavior of other stars located close to the planet. Lubin predicts that the next cooling spiral is likely to make the sun dimmer and cooler.

What happens when a dimmer sun will shine over us

The UC San Diego News Center indicates that there are some changes in the behavior of the sun. These changes can have severed effects on our planet. Lubin argues that the stratospheric ozone layer could become even thinner when the sun grows dimmer. Hence, this will alter the insulation effect of the atmosphere. Nevertheless, he argues that we should not worry since it might not have a serious impact on global warming.

Lubin says that the cooling effects of a grand minimum only represents a portion of the warming effect determined by the increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Scientists have developed a simulation which indicates that the cooling effect of the sun can only reduce the warming. Hence, the estimates indicate that our planet’s warming will reduce by 0.25% from 2020 to 2070.

Furthermore, the new study also predicts that an upcoming grand solar minimum might determine a slow down of global warming but will not stop it. Global warming effects are likely to continue to affect our planet since greenhouse gas emissions and pollution are predicted to grow.

The sun in space and another star near it

We should expect a dimmer sun by 2050 that will make the ozone layer thinner.

We will live to see a cooler, dimmer sun

When it comes to the implications of the study, Lubin claims that they have a standard for developing more accurate climate simulation models. By identifying the period when the sun will be cooler and dimmers, this can offer researchers a better understanding of how UV radiation really works. Furthermore, they will be able to find out how UV radiation will affect climate change.

Since a few decades from now, the sun will be dimmer and cooler, it means that will emit a lot less radiation by the middle of this century. During the grand minimum, the sunspots will form less frequently, and the magnetism of the sun will reduce. In this way, when less UV radiation will reach our planet, the earth will also cool down.

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Lubin also says that the linear regression helps scientists estimate a range in the UV flux of about 9.3% over the solar cycle 22. Furthermore, the data obtained also helped them reveal a reduction of 6.9% below the “solar cycle minimum under a grand minimum”. Researchers indicate that the 95% confidence interval in the grand-minimum estimate is 5.5% to 8.4%.

As the sun goes cooler, the temperature on our planet will also decrease. This may be considered an advantage since it can reduce the effect of climate change. A cooler sun will make the ozone layer thinner. This will alter the temperature structure of the stratosphere. In turn, this affects the dynamics of the lower atmosphere like the wind and weather patterns.

The sun will cool down between 2020 and 2050

However, we should know that this cooling will not be at the same level in the entire world. During the Maunder Minimum also known as the “prolonged sunspot minimum”, some areas in Europe cooled down. However, Alaska and southern Greenland warmed up. This time, when the sun will rest for a while, it could bring some benefits for our planet.

On the other hand, another study regarding the ozone layer shows that this shield is growing thinner and thinner. This means that until the sun’s grand minimum cycle starts, our planet will warm up. This warmup will increase the chances for more heatwaves. The entire planet will suffer, and many habitats will perish due to the hot temperatures.

The thin ozone layer will fuel global warming effects, having a disastrous impact on ecosystems. Numerous animal species, both terrestrial and marine, are likely to suffer. Furthermore, the sea level rise might affect several coastal regions, producing catastrophic floods. The Arctic is threatened by rising temperatures which cause a massive meltdown. Polar bears and many other native species gradually lose their habitat, due to the lack of food.

The hot temperatures also affect the ocean waters. Numerous marine species are in great danger, especially the Great Barrier Reef. Hence, the implications of climate change are many and severe. In case this grand minimum solar cycle really occurs, then it will be for our benefit. It will diminish the overall temperatures on Earth.

Summing up

Scientists predict the next grand solar minimum when a cooler and dimmer sun will shine over us. This process is part of the sun’s cycle. The dimming sun will also help to cool down the Earth’s temperature. The grand minimum constitutes the low point in the sun’s 11-year cycle.

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William E. Eubanks
 

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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