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In the sub-visible domain.
The cyclical Warming spike in the 1700s, though diminished somewhat, had up-ramped the Sun at the deepest point of the Little Ice Age, and with it may have saved our existence.
No one was prepared at the time for living on a largely uninhabitable planet, which the Earth becomes during the Ice Age glaciation phase.
All through the 1600s, the background level for the Sun was so weak that almost no sunspots were visible for three decades, and only a very few had been seen during the decades before. The actively lean period became known as the Maunder Minimum, and is famous for its lack of sunspots.
But what about it? Did the solar cycles stop? Did the Sun go to sleep during the Maunder Minimum?
No, the Sun didn't go to sleep during the Maunder Minimum. Even during the times of zero sunspots, the solar cycles had continued, although at such a low level that they no longer caused sunspots on the Sun, however, they did cause corresponding changes in solar cosmic-ray flux. The cosmic-ray flux is measurable in ratios of the Beryllium-10 isotope that cosmic-ray effects generate in the atmosphere.
The solar cycles shown in blue are measurable proxies for solar activity, measured in Beryllium-10 ratios. Beryllium-10 is produced by cosmic-ray collisions with Nitrogen atoms and Oxygen atoms in the atmosphere. The isotope thereby becomes a measurable proxy for solar activity.
When the Sun is weak, the plasma shell around it is weak also, which enables larger volumes of cosmic rays to penetrate it and affect the Earth, and generate Beryllium-10 in the Earth's atmosphere.
The Beryllium ratios, which are high when the Sun is weak, are presented inversely here, to illustrate the weakness of the Sun. The Sun was so weak during the Maunder Minimum that the activity fluctuations occurred below the visible-threshold.
We see this type of process happening again in modern time.
When we see the solar cycles becoming smaller in terms of sunspot numbers, this means that a portion of the solar activity cycle unfolds at the sub-visible level, below the Zero-Sunspot level. We get into these situations typically at the beginning and end phases of a solar cycle.
This means that the solar cycles themselves don't get smaller in amplitude. It only means that they unfold at progressively lower levels.
This is why the peak of cycle 24 is so low in sunspot numbers, as half of the cycle unfolds at the sub-visible level.
The correlation is significant in principle as we look ahead into the near future. The projection forward tells us that cycle 25 will become visible late into the cycle, be extremely weak in numbers, for a short period, if we see any sunspots at all.
Cycle 26 and 27 will be so weak that all of them unfold in the sub-visible, with zero sunspots on the face of the Sun, without a recovery happening this time. This projection tells us that cycle 27 will be 135% weaker than cycle 22 had been, in the 1990s.
A 135% collapse of the solar activity in the space of only 5 solar cycles, spanning less than 60 years, is huge. It is almost unpredictable in consequences. There likely won't be a recovery happening.
The last Grand solar Minimum event that we see in the sunspot numbers had occurred in the 1970-80s timeframe. We saw a recovery thereafter of 50 sunspots.
If such a 'big' recovery should happen again after the next low point projected for 2017, which falls into the current solar solar cycle 24, we might see increasing sunspot numbers during solar cycle 25, which would reflect the Sun recovering from the minimal period in cycle 24.
However, the amplitudes of minimal periods have been getting progressively smaller, in line with the shorter intervals. The last large minimum cycle was the Dalton Minimum of 1810. It caused a noticeable recovery in the sunspot numbers However, the next such cycle in the 1890s was much weaker. It was so feebly expressed that it isn't regarded as minimum event anymore. The same is apparent about the minimum cycles that followed, including that for cycle 24.
The Dalton Minimum of 1810 had occurred at a time when the solar system was still relatively strong and cycle intervals long. Now that the interval has shrunk to less than a third, the amplitude has shrunk with it accordingly, to a level that is no longer of any significance.
This means that we won't likely see a noticeable interruption of the sharply diminishing solar cycles that began with the year 2000. This also means that the expected Grand Solar Minimum of the 2030s and 40s, is not a cyclical repetition of the historic Maunder Minimum of the 1600s in the Little Ice Age period, but has a different cause.
The long down-trend that we see here, that began with solar cycle 22 in the 1990s is evidently the result of the global warming pulse now ending that had lifted us out of the Little Ice Age in 1715 and gave us the global warming period that followed. That's what is now ending.
The historic solar minimum cycles are so weak that they are, for all practical considerations, history. They lack the intensity to affect us anymore.
The weakening of the Sun and its solar activity will likely continue and may even increase dramatically, which is symptomatic of the sharp collapse that we have seen in the past for the historic warming spikes.
Nor will the 'collapse' of the current warming spike stop at the level that it started with, because the underlying level of the interstellar plasma density, has over the years continued to diminish further in the background since the time of the Maunder Minimum, possibly even at an increasing rate of diminishment.
At some point on the steep slope of the collapsing Global Warming pulse, the critical threshold will be crossed where the primer fields collapse and the next Ice Age glaciation will begin.
The potential timing of the primer fields collapsing is shrouded with great uncertainty, because we don't know what the minimal threshold level is beyond which the primer fields collapse.
We can only say with a high degree of certainty, that when this threshold is crossed at which the primer fields fail, the Sun will fall back to its long 90,000-year hibernation of the next period of glaciation.
With so many aspects of the solar system now all rapidly diminishing, the best prediction that one can offer at this time, is that the phase shift will happen 'soon,' that it is 'near,' whatever this may mean.
As it has been noted by Jaworowski in 2003, the "transition" will likely happen without warning.
Get the fur coats out. The warning bells are already ringing.
The 'sinking' of the 'Rock of Gibraltar' - The final event.
The rate of the collapse of the solar-wind pressure, of 30% in 10 years, that the Ulysses spacecraft has measured, gives us an indication of how close we have come to the phase shift event.
The rate of diminishment of the solar-wind pressure closely matches the rate of diminishment of the solar activity cycles. The two are the same. This means that the diminishing solar activity intensity is the driving cause for the diminishing solar-wind intensity.
However, the solar-wind pressure has its own built-in threshold. It cannot diminish below zero, while the solar-activity intensity continues to diminish.
Here a new phase in the solar collapse process begins. The new phase reflects itself in the Sun's surface temperature beginning to diminish.
The 'Rock of Gibraltar' - the solar system's most unchanging feature - the Sun's surface temperature - its radiation intensity - is on course to its 'sinking'.
A new phase of uncertainty begins when the solar wind stops and the Sun looses steam and becomes colder. Uncertainty, is too mild a term, because of the lack of any reasonable yardstick for measuring the effect of the new phase in solar activity diminishment.
Until this point in the collapse process, the solar wind had vented off excess plasma pressure, which had kept the surface fusion action at a near constant level as we presently have it. When this regulating feature ends, which is poised to happen in the 2030s, we enter totally unpredictable territory.
This is bigger than the solar cycles slowing down. And it will be the final act in the diminishing of the solar system that began more than 2000 years ago. It will be the final act, because everything else is already on the path of diminishing.
The rate of collapse that we see already reflected in solar activity cycles is real. It will continue.
As I said, the same rate of collapse was measured in space by the Ulysses spacecraft, in terms of the collapsing solar-wind pressure, which the spacecraft saw only the beginning of.
With the measured rate projected forward. the solar wind will reach the zero level in the 2030s. The zero-level is totally predictable.
Also, the timing of the new phase takes us directly in the timeframe of the Grand Solar Minimum of the 2030s.
For this reason, let's explore what services the solar wind does provide, which we will no longer have, when it stops.
If one compares the solar wind to a kettle boiling off steam that has its heat turned down low, by which the steam stops and the water cools, a point will be reached on the Sun in a similar manner, by which its surface temperature becomes colder after the solar wind drops to zero. Obviously, there is more involved than just a change in temperature.
At the current rate of collapse of the solar wind, the cooling of the Sun, will begin in the 2030s, in the background of the Grand Solar Minimum.
While the solar wind has no direct significant impact on the climate on Earth, its ending is significant as a change in the dynamic process that affects the operational principles of the Sun, where the solar wind plays a role.
The solar wind not only vents off excess plasma from the fusion cells on the surface of the Sun. It also aids the fusion cells in purging the plasma-fusion products.
The fusion products are the atomic elements that the plasma-fusion creates. If they are not removed, they will clog up the fusion cells.
The solar wind aids in purging the cells. When this service stops, the result is totally unpredictable. It may be minute. It may also be large. The uncertainty goes up 'through the roof.'
It is only predictable with certainty that the cooling of the Sun will begin when the solar wind stops, but not how rapidly it will progress, and how extensively it will affect all the other processes.
For as long as measurements have been made, the Sun's surface temperature didn't diminish significantly, thanks to the moderating effect of the solar wind. But when this moderating effect ends, we will see it reflected in the Sun becoming colder, and in reduced fusion actions becoming reflected in reduced plasma consumption, which reduces the Sun's sink effect that affects the flow-rate through the Primer Fields.
Then the reduced flow-rate, in turn, reduces the plasma concentration by the Primer Fields, which reduces the solar activity even more in a self-escalating rate of diminishment.
The self-escalating dynamic collapse furnishes the background for the coming Grand Solar Minimum, to become the next Ice Age.
For how long the Sun can grow colder before the Primer Fields themselves collapse is wide open to uncertainty. The collapse could happen fast. It could happen during cycle 26, or it might linger on into the 2050s.
It seems that the closer we come to the big Ice Age phase shift point, the greater the uncertainties become that lead up to it. This is what we face in the near future. It may be nearer than we are willing to acknowledge.
The song of the warning bells
One thing is certain, that the consequences of the weakening Sun will become more-enormous the closer we come to the phase shift. The grand diminishing process has already begun with evermore devastating fringe effects along the way.
All the dynamic effects that we see combined, affecting the solar activity intensity, already have dramatic climate consequences that are in many ways more visible and hard than the changing Sunspot numbers are that we can still count,
As fringe effects, we can see by observation that changes in solar activity cause corresponding changes in UV-intensity in the sunlight, which affects the warmth of the climate on Earth.
Likewise the volume of solar cosmic-ray flux that we had measured historically, affects cloudiness in a big way, and thereby the warmth of the climate.
Changing cloudiness in turn affects the water vapor density in the air, which affects the Earth greenhouse warming by the heat absorption property of water vapor.
All of these effects become dramatically increased in the years and decades ahead as the solar system continues to weaken.
Sunlight includes a wide spectrum of light energy, of which only a small portion is visible. At the high-energy side of the spectrum, outside the visible range, above the violet, we find the ultraviolet 'color' that is invisible. This region is highly energetic. It causes sunburns and so on. And below the red, we find the infrared part of the spectrum, which we cannot see, but feel as heat. Each of these has a different effect on our climate, and the effects are getting bigger as fringe effects do in a dramatically changing energetic system.
A large portion of the ultraviolet portion of the sunlight is absorbed in the atmosphere, typically by oxygen, and some UV energy is being scattered after being absorbed. The blue color of the sky results from the scattering effect that the UV radiation contributes to.
Both aspects, the direct absorption of UV light, and the scattering of it are significant contributors to the heat-budget of the atmosphere, and thereby to the greenhouse effect, and also to the heating of the soil.
The UV light emission from the Sun varies dramatically, up to 10-fold, over the course of the solar cycles, as do the sunspot counts. While the sunspots have no effect on the climate directly, the changing level of solar activity does have a big effect, which the changing sunspot numbers are merely evidence of.
In times when the sunspot numbers are high, the Sun emits larger volumes of UV-light energy, and the Earth gets warmer. This means that changing solar activity is a strongly changing climate factor, affected by UV intensity fluctuations.
The infrared portion of the sunlight is likewise a climate factor. It contributes to the greenhouse effect with light being absorbed by water vapor in the atmosphere.
The water-vapor effect is said to be the largest portion of the solar radiation absorbed in the atmosphere. However, water vapor is not a constant factor. Its density changes with cloudiness. When clouds form, moisture is condensed out of the atmosphere, which reduces the greenhouse effect, subsequently. And cloudiness does change. It is highly effected by cosmic-ray intensity.
When solar activity is low, the Sun is surrounded by a weaker plasma corona. The weaker corona inhibits the Sun's cosmic-rays less. Consequently larger volumes are able to affect the Earth, which have an ionizing effect in the atmosphere.
Ionized elements in the air are up to 100-times more attractive to water vapor. They increase cloud nucleation dramatically; increasing cloudiness.
Increased cloudiness, in turn, reflects a larger portion of the incoming solar energy back into space, which thereby becomes lost to us, and the Earth becomes colder.
The effect of cosmic rays on cloud nucleation is often disputed, though it has been verified in principle with the CLOUD experiment at the CERN laboratory in Europe. A large test chamber had been filled with water-vapor. Then, artificial cosmic rays were injected.
When cosmic rays were injected after the normal effects were measured, the rate of water nucleation went straight up and off the chart. The same happens when large volumes of cosmic rays are emitted from the Sun, which happens when the Sun is weak.
Inversely, when the Sun is strong, few cosmic rays are emitted, cloudiness is less extensive, and the climate is warmer.
So it is, that by means of increased UV emissions from the Sun, and reduced cosmic rays for less cloudiness, the Earth becomes warmer.
The warming through the back door happens most-strongly when the sunspot numbers are high. This also means that the climate cools significantly when the solar activity is low.
All of these large climate fluctuations happen through the back door, while the front door, the Sun's surface temperature, still remains steady.
Not how we affect the climate, but how the climate affects us!
CO2 plays no role in the climate dynamics, because it is too feeble to affect anything, and is NOT affected by the Sun that is the climate master on the Earth. CO2 is simply a non-issue. It has no practical effect whatsoever. But the climate effects caused by the Sun do immensely affect us. That's the issue that counts.
CO2 is comparable to a cat on the sidewalk at the World-Trade towers in New York. The towers represent the UV and water-vapor greenhouse effects, and the cat represents CO2. Even if one would overfeed the cat so that it became a horse, it still wouldn't amount to anything in comparison.
CO2 has a 10-times lower absorption coefficient than water vapor.
In addition, CO2 is 100 times less dense than water vapor, and responds only in a few narrow bands at the low-energy end of the spectrum, and even there, it is almost completely masked by water vapor, and is far overshadowed by the ever-variable factor of UV intensity and the light scattering effect. With all the factors added into the previous comparison, the 'cat' is most likely no bigger than a mouse, and this is so even without us considering the climate effect of cloudiness, which is also a big variable factor.
The greenhouse heat budget gets a large portion of its heat, up to 45% of it, from heat released by the process of cloud forming. When atmospheric water vapor condenses into clouds, the energy that had been absorbed to turn water into vapor, is becoming released as latent heat when the vapor condenses back into water. The cloud condensation, of course, reduces the water-vapor density, which reduces the water vapor's thermal absorption, which is a big factor of the greenhouse effect.
Since almost all of these factors are variable factors, we encounter a large number of uncertainties here, even while we feel their effects unmistakably.
We see these increasing fringe effects as an ominous 'writing on the wall' in the form of increasing flooding, droughts, storms, snowfalls, general cooling, crop losses, forest fires, and in big examples such as the big California Drought, the big China Flooding events, worldwide mega-earthquakes and hurricanes, and so on. And we see all this increasing while the weakening of the solar system is still at the beginning stage. We have almost two decades yet to go on this worsening line till we get to the next Grand Solar Minimum that we won't likely recover from, after which the Ice Age begins and things get really bad.
When the world becomes largely uninhabitable, in part by the cold, and in part for the lack of freshwater, as the Ice Age unfolds, the term 'bad' is too mild.
We have the option to turn 'bad' into 'gold'
We have the option, as an intelligent humanity, to build us a New World that the expanding climate crisis cannot affect.
Life began in the sea. It may become our home again as a secure place in an uncertain future.
We can build secure agriculture afloat on the sea, much of it indoors, serviced by a society with a new paradigm for living.
We will be living in thousands of new cities with secure and free housing, with efficient transportation infrastructures and energy infrastructures, in a world without war, without stealing, without want, and with a golden future to look forward to.
All nations working hand in hand
While this is still a dream, dreams can be made true with a little effort and commitment to it. Even while the world is already becoming dark, we can assure our children across the world that they will have a future, and we can prove our words by putting the spate into the ground.
While we cannot escape the coming Ice Planet Earth, with absolute certainty, we can embrace it without fear, with the certainty in knowing that we, as human beings, are bigger - way bigger - than what the climate can bring.
We can face the dimmer Sun with a song and become our own light for the world.
We may not only walk on the water, but dance on it as we celebrate our self-made freedom, our freedom to live and love on the high level above the tumults of the small-minded conventionality where we are tied to the ghost of uncertainties.
When we raise ourselves up and build that New World for us that we are fully capable of creating, then the long train of uncertainties ends. Then we will have a future.
And then, without fail, the children of the world will be our joy and treasure.