Study: Cooling for decades due to solar activity

The Mexican Institute of Water Technology has published a study that declares fluctuations in sunlight volume that reaches Earth may contribute more to global cooling than climate scientists originally thought.

According to The Daily Caller, Jorge Sanchez-Sesma, who is the author of the manuscript that publicized this outcome, examined cycle data going back as far as 100,000 years and distinguished the information with approximately 25,000 years of surface air temperature information in the Congo River Basin. He determined that information from reconstructions and models indicates a potential continental tropical temperature cooling of around 0.5oC for the rest of the 21st century.

The manuscript also makes the case that changing degrees of of solar acceleration clarify most of the variation in the Congo River Basin’s air temperatures during the past centuries – this is relevant since the river’s lagoon is not influenced by ocean temperatures.

Our model provides an estimation of a cooling for the 21st century of about 0.50C, followed by a slow warming trend with small oscillations during more than 4 centuries, Sanchez-Sesma says.

Researchers are examining the significance of short and long-term solar cycles on climate more and more. For approximately the last fifteen years scientists have detected 6,000-year and 2,400-year solar variations. Due to reports the sun is going blank, at present researchers are forecasting solar activity akin to magnitudes seen during the Little Ice Age. An event that lasted from the late Middle Ages to the mid-19th Century.

Not since cycle 14 peaked in February 1906 has there been a solar cycle with fewer sunspots. We are currently more than six years into Solar Cycle 24 and the current nearly blank sun may signal the end of the solar maximum phase, Virginia-based Vencore weather expert Paul Dorian says. Dorian went on to point out: Going back to 1755, there have been only a few solar cycles in the previous 23 that have had a lower number of sunspots during its maximum phase.

Researchers at the UK Met Office published at study earlier this year contending that reduced solar activity would result in cooling Earth temperatures by 0.1 degree Celsius, with the cooling being felt more in North American and Europe. Sanchez-Sesma’s conclusion of a a 0.5 degree Celsius cooling trend of continental hot and humid temperatures may hint at enhanced global cooling from drastically diminished solar fluctuations.

However, Sanchez-Sesma’s study and Met Office researchers both asserted that any forecasted solar variation needs to be weighed against other climate forcings, such as anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Met Office scientists claim that any cooling impacts from the sun will probably be outweighed by human-caused global warming. However, even Met scientist Sara Ineson said in a press release: This means that even if we were to see a return to levels of solar activity not seen since the Maunder Minimum, our winters would likely still be getting milder overall.

Ineson and her colleagues aren’t the only researchers to forecast cooling from a solar minimum. During January of 2015, The Times of India quotes director of India’s Mahatma Gandhi Mission at the Centre for Astronomy and Space Technology Shrinivas Aundhkar as saying a situation like a mini-ice age is in the near future.

The sun undergoes two cycles that are described as maximum and minimum, Aundhkar said. The activity alternates every 11 years, and the period is termed as one solar cycle. At present, the sun is undergoing the minimum phase, reducing global temperatures.

Back in May of this year, Nature published a study authored by scientists at the University of Southampton in England that forecasted a cooling trend in the coming decades, except it will be caused by the Atlantic Ocean’s natural cycles and not the sun. The study’s co-author Dr. David Smeed is quoted as saying:

“The observations of [AMO] from the [sensor arrays], over the past ten years, show that it is declining. As a result, we expect the AMO is moving to a negative phase, which will result in cooler surface waters. This is consistent with observations of temperature in the North Atlantic.”

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