What are the consequences of the coming solar minimum?

Experts from the University of reading came to the conclusion that the sharp fall in solar activity will lead to decrease the size of its atmosphere by a third and the weakening of its protective functions. This can make Land more vulnerable to destructive solar flares and deadly cosmic radiation, and the Aurora — less common away from the polar regions for 50 years or more.

“Magnetic activity and solar tides are cyclical, but there is evidence that its sharp decline will be the most significant for the last 300 years,’ said study leader Dr Matthew Owens. — If so, the Northern lights will be available for observation only in the polar regions due to the insufficient strength of the solar wind, which often makes them visible at lower latitudes, for example, in the UK. The lower solar activity sun spots and coronal emission become less frequent. However, if a massive ejection will strike the Earth, it can seriously affect the operation of electronic devices, which are so dependent modern society”.

The study, entitled Global solar wind variations over the last four centuries, published in Scientific Reports, shows how the data about the solar spots can be used to reconstruct what happened more than three centuries ago when the Earth last experienced a sharp drop in solar activity. Using the updated models and modern reports, scholars have been able to predict what to expect from such events, which will probably happen in the next few decades.

Scientists believe that the upcoming “Grand minimum” like Murderously at the minimum of the XVII century, when in the Sun for a long time lost almost all stains.

Solar wind, consisting of electrically charged particles, moving at a speed of about a million miles per hour. Reducing this wind is seen as the heliosphere (the”bubble” around the Solar system that is supported by particles emanating from the Sun), which is significantly reduced.

This “bubble” helps protect the Earth from harmful radiation from space, but its effect has weakened since 1950. Scientists predict a rapid reduction in the size of the heliosphere around the middle of the XXI century. Own magnetic field of the Earth deflects part of the radiation, but locations close to the North and South poles where the Earth’s magnetic field is weak, are more vulnerable.

“If the reduction in the number of sunspots will continue at the same rate, given the data from the past, these changes will become a reality in the next few decades,” said Professor Mike Lockwood.

“Murderously low solar activity is sometimes mistakenly believed to have caused the so-called little ice age, when winter temperatures in Europe and in other countries was below the average. But the little ice age began to Murderously low and ended after it, and our previous work with meteorologists showed that the coming solar minimum will not be enough to offset the much more significant global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions.”

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