The Sun Will Be Cooler By 2050: Will This End Climate Change?

The Sun Will Be Cooler By 2050: Will This End Climate Change?

The sun is slated to become a tad less fiery somewhere around 2050 — so does that mean we can kiss global warming goodbye?

Scientists have revealed that the sun will drop in temperature around the mid-century by a slightly measurable degree, likely cooling various parts of the world. Because of a period known as the grand minimum — a solar phase that’s marked by less radiation — the sun itself will go into a state of cooling before potentially coming back just as hot, if not hotter.

Physicist Dan Lubin, from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, and colleagues said that the ultraviolet radiation of the sun will be reduced by an additional 7 percent beyond the lowest point of the 11-year solar cycle during the grand minimum.

So, because global warming is largely the byproduct of greenhouse emissions trapping the sun's heat energy in the lower atmosphere, does this mean we can cast aside our climate change worries? Well, not so fast.

To the dismay of oil lobbyists and climate change deniers far and wide, Lubin and colleagues said that yes, while the solar phenomenon will somehow slow global warming, it will not, in any measurable way, offset the current trend of human-induced climate change. They explained that the cooling effect of the grand solar minimum is only a fraction of the warming effect linked to the increasing amount of planet-warming greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Alas, their conclusive findings — which were published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters — revealed that after solar radiation drops in 2020, the surface average temperature worldwide will cool by up to several tenths of a degree celsius. To put that figure into perspective, look at where your thermostat is currently set in your house or apartment, and put it down about a half-degree fahrenheit. That’ll be the extent of the “global cooling” we’re likely to see in 2050. (Conversely, you can do that same afrometined experiment by raising the temperature up about 5 degrees fahrenheit, and you’ll have mimicked the result of “manmade” climate change.)

So don’t expect to be busting-out your winter jacket in August anytime soon.

(Feature image, courtesy of Flickr)