Astronomers have reported an alarming drop in sunspot activity and are warning of the possibility of the return of the Maunder Minimum leading to Global cooling.
The last period of low sunspot activity was known as the Maunder Minimum and coincided with the coldest period of the Little Ice Age, from 1645 to 1715. The river Thames and Boston Harbor froze over in the winters, and snow covered England for 20-30 days per year, compared to the current 2-10 days. Agricultural production was seriously impacted, as for example, the English growing season which became 5 weeks shorter than it is today.
As we reported in our recent “Earth Day” Blog, sunspots reflect the energy output of the Sun. Scientists have proven that sunspots are closely correlated to temperature fluctuations on Earth. The last half of the 20th century had the highest level of sunspot activity in 300 years, accounting for the increased global temperatures we have experienced. However, this warming trend seems to have stopped in the last few years.
Now astronomers have made the bombshell announcement that there were 4 weeks with no sunspots during early 2017. Coming on the heels of the weakest sunspot showing in 100 years during the peak of the 11 year cycle in 2013, many astronomers believe that the sunspot numbers will continue to decline. If, in fact, we are in the early stages of period like the Maunder Minimum, historical data suggests that global cooling could occur within a generation, or possibly in even less than a decade.
During the last period of global cooling, known as the Little Ice Age to historians, climate change began in 1315 with heavy rains and flooding, destroying crops and leading to famine. Agricultural production suffered as the growing season shortened and some crops could no longer be cultivated. War, hunger and disease caused population declines. Many believed it was a Judgment from God. (See Job 37:5-13). If this pattern happens in our time, we must remember that “When Your judgments come upon the Earth the people learn righteousness” (Isaiah 26:9). Let us resolve to work with God’s redemptive purpose to reach a lost world.
Only God knows what the future holds for us, and that is the cause of our problem. God controls climate, not us. Yet many believe that we must make extreme efforts to fight climate change. Some would even have us rollback modern economic gains which are based on affordable energy, leaving millions unemployed in the developed world and billions in poverty in the third world.
We believe that a little humility is in order given our lack of knowledge. We should adopt a policy of doing no harm, allowing the poor to benefit from the modern energy driven society as we adapt to climate change. Let us pray for wisdom from our leaders as the climate change drama unfolds.
Let us also pray that God will moderate the changes in climate and help us to feed the hungry and clothe the naked in His name.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.