WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The solar cycle is currently entering its solar minimum and NASA predicts it’s going to deepen.
- That means there are more days that the sun has no sunspots and gives off less heat.
- This may lead to global temperatures dropping slightly for a prolonged period of time.
Reports from NASA predict that the solar minimum has arrived, this means that there has been an absence of sunspots on 59% of days this year. The space agency also says that the minimum will deepen, likely causing a slight drop in global temperatures before it gets warm again.
The Sun goes through a cycle roughly every 11 years, reaching a solar maximum and a solar minimum. A solar maximum is when the Sun has more sunspots and radiates more heat. Solar minimums, aside from fewer sunspots, also means fewer magnetic waves which lead to the Sun also being a little cooler.
Space Weather, a cosmic forecasting site, said that NASA and NOAA researchers have predicted that, “The current solar minimum is going to deepen, potentially reaching a century-class low in the next year or so. This will be followed by a new Solar Max in the years 2023-2026.”
NASA’s website explained, “All weather on Earth, from the surface of the planet out into space, begins with the Sun.” Terrestrial weather, the weather we experience on the surface of the earth is “influenced by the small changes the Sun undergoes during its solar cycle.”
The last time a deep solar minimum occurred was in 1645-1715 during the Maunder minimum where the weather was freezing and sunspots were quite rare. For seventy years, the global temperature dropped by around 1.3 degrees Celsius, leading to shorter seasons and food shortages.
According to the meteorological website, Vencore Weather, the days that the sun will be “spotless” will increase over the next couple of years.