For the past several years, a variety of researchers and scientists have pointed out that due to the extremely low sunspot activity of our Sun, with it being headed toward a solar minimum, we may actually be right on the precipice of a “little ice age.”
Scientists are suggesting that by the year 2050, we might be living in one. According to a mainstream source, CBS: “Scientists are predicting that the sun is about to enter a massive cooling cycle which could lead to a mini ice age by the year 2050.”
Martin Mlynczak was cited as a scientist who warned of what is happening with the Sun, and he comes from NASA’s Langley Research Center. According to him and several other researchers, the ultraviolet light being put out by the Sun has dropped severely, and in response, our atmosphere is essentially going to cool down.
(Image credit: animationsource)
Of course, multiple layers of our atmosphere with distinctive properties react in different ways, the magnetosphere, the stratosphere, ect., and because of complex details such as the way different layers of the atmosphere react to the solar cycle, there seems to be a lot of contradicting info in academia about what exactly is happening to our planet.
Based on data collected from NASA’s TIMED satellite, they report that our Earth’s thermosphere is experiencing a cooling, which they say is always the result of the Solar Minimum.
Something called the “Thermosphere Climate Index” (TCI) was introduced by Mlynczak and his colleagues, and the purpose of it is to keep track of what is happening in the thermosphere. It produces a number expressed in Watts that serves the purpose of telling how much heat molecules of NO are dumping into outer space.
During the Solar Maximum in contrast, the TCI they’d measure is high or hot, and during the minimum, it is low or cold. It’s very cold right now.
A new space age record for cold is about to actually by set by the Thermosphere Climate Index it would seem. Mlynczak said “We’re not quite there yet… but it could happen in a matter of months.”
So the NASA scientist and his team published a paper about the TCI showing a historical record of the Thermosphere Climate Index, which you can view below. The state of the thermosphere was broken down into very simple categories, which include the terms Cold, Cool, Neutral, Warm, and Hot.
(Image credit: Mlynczak/CE)
Now this is just the thermosphere. What about the stratosphere? The actions of people like the researchers at Harvard who are spraying the sky with aluminum to try and reflect the sunlight back and allegedly prevent climate change, obviously make the assumption that the Earth is warming up. People should research that because there’s seriously some different opinions out there.
If you’d like to try and form a mental picture of what our atmosphere looks like, the thermosphere sits directly below the exosphere, and above the mesosphere. The thermosphere is very important, because it is the place where much of the UV and X-ray radiation emanating from the Sun is absorbed.
(Image credit: studyblue)
When the Sun has a lot of activity, and it’s emitting a greater amount of high energy radiation, the thermosphere kind of “puffs up,” expands and gets hotter.
Will we really be in for a mini-ice age? Why is there so much debate surrounding climate change, and could there be man-made factors that we don’t expect?