The quiet sun is puzzling scientists - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

The quiet sun is puzzling scientists

Posted: Updated:
Toledo, OH -

The sun goes through an 11-year sunspot cycle, oscillating between high and low solar activity. The sunspot cycle is responsible for increased solar storms that can alter our daily activities here on earth. The most intense solar flares can create geomagnetic storms on earth if the flare hits earth directly. This has happened many times in the past occasionally causing radio blackouts, overloading the electrical grid, and producing the northern lights in southern latitudes.

The last solar minimum between 2007 and 2009 was the longest and deepest in the past 100 years. Now that solar activity has picked up, scientists are once again trying to understand the sun's behavior. Solar maximum was expected this year, and while activity jumped up in 2011 and early 2012 it has recently stalled. Solar activity has dropped in recent weeks and on Tuesday the activity hit a year low. NASA said that the current solar maximum is the weakest they have observed in 50 years and it may be the lowest in a century or more depending on what happens later this year and in 2014.

A few researchers suggest that the current solar maximum is double peaked with one peak that has already arrived and another that will arrive in 2014 or early 2015 at the latest. Regardless, the current solar cycle is currently well below predicted activity and most experts believe the sun will become more active this fall through 2014.

Regardless of what happens in the next year or two, building research shows the sun is warning us of a prolonged weak period on the sun that could last 10 to 50 years. Prolonged weak periods on the sun occur every few hundred years, and it has been more than 200 years since the last slow period. If this were to occur, the number of geomagnetic storms on earth would be very low in the coming decades. On the other hand, studies show the sun's solar cycle does impact earth's climate. An active solar cycle will produce more solar radiation on earth and thus increase the overall global temperature by a small amount. A lack of sunspots for a prolonged period could decrease the global temperatures slightly with all other factors being equal. 

  • LocalMore>>

  • Suspect wanted in attempted kidnapping from Days Inn

    Suspect wanted in attempted kidnapping from Days Inn

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:32 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:32:28 GMT
    TPD is turning to the public to help identify a man they say tried to abduct a child at a hotel. It happened around 6 a.m. Monday morning at the Days Inn on Miami Street.TPD is turning to the public to help identify a man they say tried to abduct a child at a hotel. It happened around 6 a.m. Monday morning at the Days Inn on Miami Street.
    TPD is turning to the public to help identify a man they say tried to abduct a child at a hotel. It happened around 6 a.m. Monday morning at the Days Inn on Miami Street.TPD is turning to the public to help identify a man they say tried to abduct a child at a hotel. It happened around 6 a.m. Monday morning at the Days Inn on Miami Street.
  • Construction begins on Toledo's first off-leash dog park

    Construction begins on Toledo's first off-leash dog park

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:12 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:12:24 GMT
    After years of talk, Toledo's first dog park is moving forward. An official groundbreaking for the Glass City Dog Park is set for August. There are more than 62,000 registered pups in Lucas County but there is no place for dogs to run freely. In a matter of weeks, that's changing. "This is about quality of life and improving Toledo," says Steve Serchuk, a board member with Toledo Unleashed. Serchuk works with the non-profit Toledo Unleashed. They've worked to build a dog park for five yea...
    After years of talk, Toledo's first dog park is moving forward. An official groundbreaking for the Glass City Dog Park is set for August. There are more than 62,000 registered pups in Lucas County but there is no place for dogs to run freely. In a matter of weeks, that's changing. "This is about quality of life and improving Toledo," says Steve Serchuk, a board member with Toledo Unleashed. Serchuk works with the non-profit Toledo Unleashed. They've worked to build a dog park for five yea...
  • Obama admin promoting job training grants in Toledo

    Obama admin promoting job training grants in Toledo

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:10:53 GMT
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Two members of President Barack Obama's administration are visiting northwestern Ohio to promote job training programs. U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne (AR'-nee) Duncan and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez will be in Toledo on Tuesday to tour a public school that focuses on technology and job training. The Toledo Technology Academy won a $3.8 million federal grant for helping employers work with the school system and the students. The two officials also will tou...
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Two members of President Barack Obama's administration are visiting northwestern Ohio to promote job training programs. U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne (AR'-nee) Duncan and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez will be in Toledo on Tuesday to tour a public school that focuses on technology and job training. The Toledo Technology Academy won a $3.8 million federal grant for helping employers work with the school system and the students. The two officials also will tou...

Weather: Home | Forecast | Radar | Cams

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Suspect wanted in attempted kidnapping from Days Inn

    Suspect wanted in attempted kidnapping from Days Inn

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:32 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:32:28 GMT
    TPD is turning to the public to help identify a man they say tried to abduct a child at a hotel. It happened around 6 a.m. Monday morning at the Days Inn on Miami Street.TPD is turning to the public to help identify a man they say tried to abduct a child at a hotel. It happened around 6 a.m. Monday morning at the Days Inn on Miami Street.
    TPD is turning to the public to help identify a man they say tried to abduct a child at a hotel. It happened around 6 a.m. Monday morning at the Days Inn on Miami Street.TPD is turning to the public to help identify a man they say tried to abduct a child at a hotel. It happened around 6 a.m. Monday morning at the Days Inn on Miami Street.
  • Construction begins on Toledo's first off-leash dog park

    Construction begins on Toledo's first off-leash dog park

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:12 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:12:24 GMT
    After years of talk, Toledo's first dog park is moving forward. An official groundbreaking for the Glass City Dog Park is set for August. There are more than 62,000 registered pups in Lucas County but there is no place for dogs to run freely. In a matter of weeks, that's changing. "This is about quality of life and improving Toledo," says Steve Serchuk, a board member with Toledo Unleashed. Serchuk works with the non-profit Toledo Unleashed. They've worked to build a dog park for five yea...
    After years of talk, Toledo's first dog park is moving forward. An official groundbreaking for the Glass City Dog Park is set for August. There are more than 62,000 registered pups in Lucas County but there is no place for dogs to run freely. In a matter of weeks, that's changing. "This is about quality of life and improving Toledo," says Steve Serchuk, a board member with Toledo Unleashed. Serchuk works with the non-profit Toledo Unleashed. They've worked to build a dog park for five yea...
  • Obama admin promoting job training grants in Toledo

    Obama admin promoting job training grants in Toledo

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:10:53 GMT
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Two members of President Barack Obama's administration are visiting northwestern Ohio to promote job training programs. U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne (AR'-nee) Duncan and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez will be in Toledo on Tuesday to tour a public school that focuses on technology and job training. The Toledo Technology Academy won a $3.8 million federal grant for helping employers work with the school system and the students. The two officials also will tou...
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Two members of President Barack Obama's administration are visiting northwestern Ohio to promote job training programs. U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne (AR'-nee) Duncan and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez will be in Toledo on Tuesday to tour a public school that focuses on technology and job training. The Toledo Technology Academy won a $3.8 million federal grant for helping employers work with the school system and the students. The two officials also will tou...

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!