Sunspots Vanish and Cosmic Rays Increase, Will Cooling Follow?

SPACE WEATHER: So far in 2017, the big story in space weather is sunspots–or rather, the lack thereof. The sun has been blank more than 90% of the time. Only one very tiny spot observed for a few hours on Jan. 3rd interrupted a string of spotless days from New Years through Jan.11th. Devoid of dark cores, yesterday’s sun is typical of the year so far:


A lot of interesting things happen when sunspots vanish. For instance, the extreme ultraviolet output of the sun plummets. This causes the upper atmosphere of Earth to cool and collapse. With less air “up there” to cause orbital decay, space junk accumulates around our planet.

Also during Solar Minimum, the heliosphere shrinks, bringing interstellar space closer to Earth. Galactic cosmic rays penetrate the inner solar system with relative ease. Indeed, a cosmic ray surge is already underway, with implications for astronauts and even ordinary air travelers.

There is growing evidence that cosmic rays can increase the planet’s cloud cover, resulting in planetary cooling. With a surge in cosmic rays,  can we anticipate increased cloud cover, resulting in temperature decline?  The real question is how much?


3 thoughts on “Sunspots Vanish and Cosmic Rays Increase, Will Cooling Follow?

  1. Le D. January 12, 2017 / 9:08 pm

    And thanks to CERN’s cloud experiment, which helped put things into focus for some! #TheWarmingNarrativeIsFailing

  2. Gabriel January 13, 2017 / 11:22 am

    There are different criteria to count sunspots according to Geoff Sharp at Some ways of measuring sunspots are mostly based on visual aspects of the Sun’s photosphere while others considers emitted radiation too (the F10.7 cm radio flux values are commonly used). Using some of the proposed ways the Sun is considered spotless since 09Dec16 while the F10.7 flux keeps roughly varying between 69nm and 73nm. Here follows two interesting references on the F 10.7 cm radio flux emiited by the Sun to understand its importance in analyzing our star’s activity ( , Back to Sharp’s analysis on sunspots count he says the SC24 is mostly similar to SC05 (years 1800-1810) which could possibly take Earth to a cooling period like the Dalton Minimum. [Nevertheless some others says this assumption is also based on a prediction that sunspots will re-appear during the next 2 years (2017-2018) though it shall be on a very faint basis.]

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