Scientists are warning that Earth could experience a “big freeze” due to what’s known as “solar minimum.” This is when sunspot and solar flare activity diminishes and often does not occur for days at a time.
The sun has been free of sunspots for a total of 133 days this year as of Sunday, September 2nd. 241 days have passed for 2018, that means the sun has been blank for the majority of the year and experts are warning that this means a solar minimum is on its way.
When the Sun is inactive it allows more cosmic rays to penetrate into the inner solar system. Research further suggests that more cosmic rays produce more clouds in the atmosphere, which will reflect and block sunlight, therefore cooling the Earth.
The solar cycle is an 11-year cycle of solar activity characterized by the rise and fall in the numbers and surface area of sunspots. We are currently in Solar Cycle 24, which is the 24th since 1755 when extensive recording of solar sunspot activity began.
There’s a lot of evidence mounting that solar cycle 25, which will begin in 2019, will usher in a new grand solar minimum.
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