The image shows several large stains imprinted by the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory. Higher values correlate with greater solar activity.
A new study suggests that we do not have to rely on the weakening of solar activity, which does not help to solve the problem with the climatic changes of the Earth. Solar activity is increasing and waning over 11-year cycles, which researchers have been following for centuries. They carefully mark sunspots - dark, magnetoactive portions of the Sun, which provoke coronal mass ejections (CME).
Variations of solar activity affect the Earth. For example, powerful CMEs crashing into our planet are capable of creating strong geomagnetic storms that disrupt satellite communications and electrical networks. Highly active solar cycles lead to more powerful CMEs and major storms.
Changes also affect the climate. Some studies have attributed large solar eruptions to reduced cloud formation, showing how much radiation is absorbed by the planet, and how much is fighting off into space. There are those who believe that the reduction of solar activity (Maunder minimum) led to the Little Ice Age. This period exposed Europe and North America to colder winters and began from 1300 until the middle of the 19th century. But the potential impact of solar activity on the glacial period is still under discussion, as the exact reasons have not yet been found. The last few cycles of the Sun show a decrease in activity, and the last (Solar 24) was the smallest in a century. This led some to believe that we could plunge the other side of the Maunder low and eliminate some of the worst consequences of global warming.
However, this scenario probably will not happen over the next decade. In a recent study, scientists have developed a new way of modeling solar activity over centuries of time. The approach includes models of the evolution of the magnetic field on the surface of the Sun and inside.
Such modeling is well combined with the actual studied solar activity over the past 100 years. Thus, it was possible to make predictions for the next 25th cycle. It is believed that it will begin in a year and reach a peak in 2024. The model shows that the 25th cycle will resemble the 24th or slightly higher. That is, no cooling is expected. Scientists will continue to tune the model to get clearer predictions. We must understand the solar behavior, because it depends on the existence of life on Earth.