Our Sun is about to change its magnetic field polarity, says solar physicist Todd Hoeksema. Beware of the alarmist websites that will shower the Internet with cobbled up pseudo-science, they will try and convince you that the end of the world is coming…
It’s not the case. We’ve been recording the solar magnetic field data since the 1970s and since then the polarity has flipped twice, in the early 1990s and early 2000s. In both cases nothing of notice really happened. However, a change in the magnetic field polarity, in the case of the Sun, means that the current solar cycle is ending and a new one is beginning, leaving the current solar-max behind at least in part.
Solar-max is that time of the solar cycle where the Sun is at its most active, it has the most sunspots and emits the most radiations, including heat, and that’s the problem. For 2013 the Sun was at its solar-max pretty much the whole year, and it will only begin to taper off later this year into December and January 2014. The trouble is that this last summer has been cooler than average for North America leaving us with a want for warmer weather, which will likely not be coming immediately after solar-max as the heat output diminishes by up to 1.3 Watts per square meter.
1.3 Watts per square meters may not seem a lot, but there are a lot of square meters on Earth and they add up. As well, even though the North Polar cap has been melting steadily for the last few years, the South Polar cap has been increasing: Antarctic sea ice extent reached a record high of 7.51 million square miles on Sept. 26. This is 0.5 percent higher than the previous record high extent of 7.47 million square miles that occurred in 2006 and seven percent higher than the record low maximum sea ice extent of 6.96 million square miles that occurred in 1986.
Does this mean that the average planet temperature will stop increasing or worse, will it decline steadily leaving the Earth in another little ice-age like the one our ancestors had in the 1500s? I guess well see in the next few years. For now I’m gonna hold on to my convertible and air conditioning.