March 15, 2012
Sun’s Impact On Earth: What We Need To Know To Prepare For The Future
Joshua Kelly, Meteorology Correspondent Redorbit.com
If you recall back in the year 2000 we were being filled with this information of “global warming” occurring at record setting levels. However, did you also know that in 2009 there were reports of the glaciers in Montana gaining ground and expanding snow cover? So how is it possible that we are going into global warming and then magically just as of recently we now are being told that it´s “climate change.” So with this in mind, what and who do we believe about these conditions?
What is actually happening on Earth?
Here are some things that you need to understand before we go on. First are terms such as Solar Cycle, Solar Maximum, and Solar Minimum. By understanding these terms, the rest will make more sense.
Solar cycle is best defined as the fluctuation between intense sun activity and minimum sun activity. Solar cycles occur in increments of a range of years. The reason for this is that it takes time for the sun to go from extremely active and warm to cooler and less active.
The next term is Solar maximum. This is known as the time when the sun is warmer with intense solar activity being released such as strong geomagnetic storms and solar flares -- all of which could impact the Earth.
The next term is the Solar minimum. This is when the sun is referred to as going into a less active period.
Now that we know these terms, lets evaluate how the sun impacts our planet Earth with different things from very warm times and very cool times.
First during a solar maximum, the sun is emitting strong rays towards the Earth and this causes our planet to experience a warming trend. This warming trend can be significant just like what happened back in the early 2000´s when we had politicians screaming “Global Warming.”
There is a flipside to this and that is a solar minimum. During this time the sun is still emitting rays towards the Earth, just not as strong. This in return can impact the Earth by providing cooler weather conditions such as what happened just recently when we had heavy snow fall in the Gulf Coast Region and also very hard freezing conditions occuring all the way down into Southern Florida.
So, if you remember back around 2009 we saw the term rephrased to climate change. So why such a change in terminology? The best way to explain this is that with the advancement of technology and the further understanding of how the sun works, scientist are beginning to realize that this is all part of a larger cycle known as the solar cycle as mentioned above.
So in all honesty we need to prepare ourselves for this ever changing cycle known as the solar cycle. It is going to cause intense weather patterns to occur and repeat over time.
For example in 2005 we had a huge outbreak of hurricanes in the United States. But why? That is better understood when we look into other terms such as El Nino and La Nina. But for this article we are going to focus on the solar impacts on Earth.
So as you recall in that 2005 hurricane season we saw storms fire up in the Atlantic Ocean and take aim at many places, creating large amounts of disruption to many people. This all occurred on the decline of a solar maximum. The reason I believe it took a few years after the solar maximum to actually experience these events is because it was a time delayed event.
Now another event just took place over the last couple of years and that was the record cold outbreaks in places that usually don´t get that cold. So why? This again relays back to the involvement of El Nino and La Nina. However, it can also be studied by the solar cycles too. In fact if we look back at the last solar cycle we see that we were heading into and at a solar maximum, which means the sun was emitting less energy towards the Earth which lead to the colder conditions on Earth in my belief.
So should we be worried so greatly about what the future holds on Earth for us? The easy answer to this is yes. However, the reason is different and that is because as these cycles continue, they also have stronger periods throughout history which lead to Ice Ages and periods of extreme Co2 being emitted on Earth such as our thoughts behind the Dino era coming to an end.
Will these cycles repeat themselves? Definitely they will, and the potential is there that we could see the same side effects occur again. As the solar maximum periods get stronger, the effects on Earth will be felt greater through things like stronger hurricanes and also more violent tornadoes. Also as the solar minimums get deeper and stronger they will provide longer periods of colder outbreaks to places that have sensitive plants and that are vital to our living. Also in places that see snow leave in March and April may see the snow stay around until early June which would create a shift in the potential of farmers getting into the field on time to get a healthy harvest.
The important thing to understand is that the Earth will continue seeing these cycles and the best thing we can do is prepare ourselves for them and what they may bring.