The Sun is shutting down (relatively), and evidence continues to mount suggesting the onset the next BIG FREEZE is here; a reduction of sunspots and an increase in sprites are two of these signs.
During periods of low solar activity, such as the deep solar minimum we’re in now, the Sun will often be devoid of sunspots. Sunspots are a great barometer for solar activity, and, as of May 26, this year has seen a total of 115 spotless days (or 78%), meaning 2020 is on track to surpass the space-age record of 281 spotless days (or 77%) observed in 2019.
We’re coming to the end of solar cycle 24 –the weakest cycle of the past 100+ years– and cycle 25 will fire-up soon enough. However, it is taking its time, and with every extra day/week/month that passes, cycle 24’s solar minimum is prolonged, the lull in solar activity is extended, and Earth suffers additional cooling.
NASA has linked periods of low solar activity to spells of global cooling (here) — and you can easily correlate the two yourself using the below ‘International Sunspot Number’ graph…
…the Dalton Minimum (1790-1830) brought with it a period of lower-than-average global temperatures. The Oberlach Station in Germany, for example, experienced a 2C decline over 20 years, which devastated the country’s food production. The Year Without a Summer also occurred during the Dalton Minimum (in 1816). As did crop failures across Eurasia & the Americas, which led to food riots, famine and ultimately the deaths of millions upon millions of people.
Now note how that 40-year temperature decline (1790-1830) matches perfectly with a dip in solar activity.
For better or worse, history repeats –Earth’s climate is cyclic, never linear– and researching the Dalton Minimum (and the deeper Maunder Minimum before it) provides a snapshot of the potentially desperate future in store for all of those that aren’t properly prepared.
Naked-Eye “Jellyfish” Sprite
“Have you ever seen a sprite?” asks Dr. Tony Phillips of spaceweather.com. Some say it’s impossible, he writes. The strange and fleeting forms of red lightning materialize above thunderheads, usually disappearing again in less time than it takes to blink.
Yet, storm chaser Michael Gavan had no trouble seeing these on May 23rd in northwestern Kansas:
“Extremely bright ‘jellyfish’ sprites were easily visible naked-eye through evening twilight!” says Gavin. “Clear skies afforded fantastic views of an MCS (Mesoscale convective system) moving through the Nebraska panhandle almost 100 miles away. I wasn’t the only one who saw them. Reports were coming in that people were seeing sprites from Interstate 70 as well,” he says.
The storm lasted so long, Gavin had time to attach an 85mm lens to his camera for some close-up shots: “There are some very interesting fine-scale features in jellyfish sprites!”
According to Dr Tony Phillips, Solar Minimum is likely boosting sprites.
During the low phase of the solar cycle –happening now– cosmic rays from deep space flood into the inner solar system relatively unimpeded by the Sun’s weakening magnetic field. Some models suggest that cosmic rays help sprites get started by creating conductive paths in the atmosphere.
The Universe is Electric — decipher the signs it’s sending us before it’s too late.
Earth’s magnetosphere is weakening in line with the coming Grand Solar Minimum — grid-wrecking solar outbursts, violent volcanic eruptions, and a debilitating Big Freeze aren’t far-away.
Prepare accordingly — relocate if need be, and grow your own.
Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift