Generally people don’t give much thought to the sun – it is always there, seemingly never-changing. However, like many other things in nature, the sun also goes through cycles, each of which can take years to complete. Although not visible to the naked eye, one of those cycles is in effect now – the sun is about to enter a period of dormancy and lowered activity, a hibernation which may last decades. Science News reports in “Next solar cycle could be a no-show” that the last time the sun went into hibernation, in the late 1600s, resulted in some of the coldest winters of the time. But circumstances are more complicated now – with the effect of greenhouse gases, it is difficult to predict just how cold the climate will get.
For most people, the effects won’t be more than a minor annoyance. It may require a little more preparation for cold weather, and irritation if winter lasts longer than usual, but it won’t affect most people’s daily lives. Those who do need to watch out for the coming weather change include farmers and people at extremes of the globe, where the colder weather will have a more drastic and notable impact.
If the coming solar cycle lasts for decades, even with modern technology it may have an impact on crop growth and yield, leading to increased food prices across the globe. With people already facing rising gas prices and other economic pressures, it is more important than ever to be aware of how the environment will impact our lives.