The Big Wobble: So far in 2019, the sun has been without sunspots for more than 270 days, including the last 33 days in a row ( which is 77% of the time this year). Since the Space Age began, no other year has had this many blank suns. The previous record-holder was the year 2008 when the sun was blank for 268 days. That was during the epic Solar Minimum of 2008-2009, formerly the deepest of the Space Age. Now 2019 has moved into first place.
Solar Minimum is a normal part of the 11-year sunspot cycle. The past two (2008-2009 and 2018-2019) have been long and deep, making them “century-class” Minima. To find a year with more blank suns, you have to go back to 1913, which had 311 spotless days. Last week, the NOAA/NASA Solar Cycle Prediction Panel issued a new forecast. Based on a variety of predictive techniques, they believe that the current Solar Minimum will reach its deepest point in April 2020 (+/- 6 months) followed by a new Solar Maximum in July 2025. This means that low sunspot counts and weak solar activity could continue for some time to come.
Solar Minimum definitely alters the character of space weather. Solar flares and geomagnetic storms subside, making it harder to catch Northern Lights at mid-latitudes. Space weather grows “quiet.” On the other hand, cosmic rays intensify. The sun’s weakening magnetic field allows more particles from deep space into the solar system, boosting radiation levels in Earth’s atmosphere. Indeed, this is happening now with atmospheric cosmic rays at a 5-year high and flirting with their own Space Age record. Spaceweather.com
With the sun being so quiet some scientists are linking this quiet period of sun inactivity with another period which occurred in the early 1800s when the Northern Hemisphere suffered a crippling mini-ice-age. Read More …
Opinion: The weather panic of 1974 was all about bitter cold enveloping our planet. Nothing could be more frightening since nothing grows in the cold. But is it man who controls weather? Or is it the height of hubris to think a sovereign God would have a plan for every aspect of life yet leave the climate to men?
Pastor George Zeller of Middletown Church in Connecticut answers the question of Who is in charge of weather:
Consider these facts:
1) The sovereign God controls every aspect of the weather. Climate is the Lord’s obedient slave: “Fire, and hail; snow, and vapors, stormy wind fulfilling His Word” (Psalm 148:8).
2) The constancy of the seasons and the general stability of the weather is guaranteed by the Noahic covenant (Gen.8:22): “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest,
and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”
3) When the nation Israel disobeyed God, they were under God’s curses which included serious famine and weather problems (Deuteronomy 28).
4) It is the height of pride for man to think that his actions or lack of actions will affect the earth’s climate in any significant way (Isaiah 2:12, 22).
5) In the tribulation there will be severe plagues which will catastrophically affect the environment and the climate. This will include severe famine (Rev. 6:5-6), destruction of vegetation and sea life (Rev. 8:7, 9), seas and rivers turning to blood (Rev. 16:3-4) and unparalleled global warming (Rev. 16:8-9).
6) In the Millennium the weather will be ideal and the environment will be Edenic. However, even in the Millennium those who disobey God could face serious consequences relating to the weather. God will withhold rain (Zechariah 14:16-19).
7) Following the Millennium, God-caused global warming of extreme nuclear proportions will destroy and melt the entire universe: “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned.