The Sun and a New Ice Age
We are living, it seems, through a Grand Solar Minimum. In simple words, there are no sun spots on the Sun. It should come as no surprise. After all the Sun’s has a 11-year cycle of solar activity, going from the maximum (plenty of sunspots) to the minimum of solar irradiance (fewer sunspots). At present, however, the number of sunspots is unusually low. It resembles the situation from the middle of the XVII century when a similar pattern of sunspots occurred and arguably it triggered the mini ice age with all its negative consequences.
The NASA scientists hurry to calm us down by pointing out that the carbon dioxide emissions currently are so high that they offset any cooling ramifications caused by the Sun’s activity (https://climate.nasa.gov/blog/2953/there-is-no-impending-mini-ice-age/). It is interesting to notice that global warming, in this particular respect, is a highly desirable phenomenon. Actually, it is also welcome because of another cycle: climate changes due to the Milankovitch cycles indicate that the inter-glacier period is over and we are to enter an era of new ice age. Our burning of fossil fuels seems to be exceptionally and quite unexpectedly beneficial to humanity fending off both the mini and regular ice ages (it might cease to be beneficial if all glaciers melted down and many coastal cities found themselves under the water).
We all know that climate is an intricate and inscrutable matter, extremely hard to understand. It turns out that our understanding of the Sun itself is wobbly as well. If asked about the source of the Sun’s energy most people would answer “nuclear fusion”, meaning that two hydrogens atoms get together to create one helium atom and release some energy which eventually gets to the Earth (they say that one hour of the Sun’s energy reaching the Earth equals to humanity’s one-year consumption of energy). In reality the fusion process is much more convoluted and tricky (and the hydrogen-to-helium reaction is not responsible for the majority of solar energy). Paradoxically enough, if we accounted for all the reactions emitting energy we would still be missing some energy. Where does the rest of the Sun’s energy come from? There is even such an intriguing answer as the following: time is matter, time is responsible for all the movement in the Universe, the Sun is a special place where time is converted to radiation (Nikolai Kozyrev). Moreover, we still cannot explain why in the core the Sun is cooler than at the surface or how come that the hydrogen gas started to get together and compress in the first place, usually it gets dispersed (gravitation alone cannot explain it).
We are living in strange times when science declares to shed light only on 5% of the Universe (with many questions being unanswered, e.g. how come that the predicted mass of the Higgs boson turned out to be a quadrillion times heavier than it is? An error of such magnitude? And we still use this model?). The rest is a big unknown. We hardly can say much about the dark matter (25% of the Universe) and even less about the dark energy (70% of the Universe). The sole purpose of the dark energy is to account for the accelerated expansion of our space. By the way according to the Hubble law which says that the father is a galaxy from us the greater its speed of moving from us is, there are objects in our Universe which move faster than the speed of light! OK, they do not move themselves but because of the space expansion they move relative to us with a speed greater than that of photons.
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