Astronomer Sir William Hershal discovered the link between sunspots and the climate in 1808, noting that when the sunspots were active the climate was warm.
Our sun has a 10.7 year sunspot cycle. So 22 so the sun should look like it did a bit less than 22 years ago, in approximately January or February 1999.
Then, the sun was very active, with almost 3 percent of the sun’s visible surface covered by sunspots, and the “solar wind,” the flow of particles from the sun past the Earth was close to 750 kilometers per second.
I stopped by my favorite soar website for a look at the sunspot situation. And found a bare sun. Bare at least in visible radiation, there was something that looked more like a flaw in the film coating to me marked up as a sunspot. And the soar wind was well under 500 KPS.
In fact, the sun looks disturbingly like a very hot “black body,” something that does not generate heat but only cools off over time.
I am sure that is not the case, but Ol’ Sol is clearly taking a nap. And our sun is the ony significant sourse of heat for our planet.
The boffins tell us the earth may cool by as much as 3C, or 5F degrees. That plays hob with crips. Further, the historical record says these “Grand Climate Minimums” wich come along every 200 years or so, are perids of high volcanic activity, frequent and severe earthquakes, and a severe weakening of our solar system’s and our planet’s primary protection against high energy radiation, our stars and our planets magnetic fields.
Could the Earth’s magnetic field collapse to the point a lodestone, an early form of compass spin wildly instead of pointing north? According to legend, that has happened. If it happens again,we are going to get a dose of cosmic radiation, for good or ill.
So we wait and see. And have something to look forward to, in about 80 years.